Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

NYPL Biblion: Frankenstein

NYPL Biblion: Frankenstein

Fall 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 9 & Up
Platform: iPad

Before there were horror movies, there were scary books like Frankenstein. Peruse this app's massive collection of archival materials from the New York Public Library, and you'll soon become a scholar of all things Frankenstein. This app is part of the Library's Biblion: The Boundless Library series. The series features an innovative, map-like navigation that makes it easy to immerse oneself in the stories, videos, sketches, and other materials gathered here, each of which contribute to an in-depth exploration of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein and its legacy.

Upon opening the app for the first time, users can read an introduction that explains the app's purpose and details how to use it. "We invite you to explore the myriad connections between a storied literary family, outspoken and influential in a time of revolutionary politics, and the creations their work continues to inspire today." Throughout the app, recent scholarship overlays high-resolution images of original historical documents in a truly novel presentation of information that fully utilizes the iPad's technology. Users access pages within the app from an "infoscape" that visualizes stacks of themed information arranged in a circular presentation. This format, which appears when the iPad is held horizontally, makes it easy to see the how the themes in Shelley's original text are still relevant to current conversations about the prison system, Goth culture, and even celebrity fandom. Holding the iPad vertically, one can see a more book-like presentation of information that pairs essays with primary sources.

For the curious reader of nineteenth-century literature, NYPL's Frankenstein app will provide hours of challenging reading material. The themes explored in the original book and this app are best for mature readers, and even they may grapple with some of the concepts explored in the associated essays. Even so, the depth of scholarship displayed in this app will inspire curious minds to consider the sources and influence of the books they read.

Parents' Choice   ©2012 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
The New York Public Library
Available on iTunes

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