One of the oldest monster tales is turning 200 in October, and Anacortes Public Library is holding a month-long party to celebrate.

“Frankenstein,” by Mary Shelley, is considered by many to be the first science fiction book and the first horror book, library Public Services Manager Diana Farnsworth said. Not only was it written by an 18-year-old woman, it is still being talked about 200 years later.

“People across the world are celebrating,” she said.

The book tells the tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who uses science to create life. He combines several human body parts with the hopes of making a man.

Farnsworth said when she read “Frankenstein,” she connected more with the monster than his creator.

“He is just stuck into the world after being created to be something special,” she said. “He is just abandoned.”

This tale is about being ostracized and is a good reminder to be kind to one another, she said.

A series of activities throughout the month will allow readers young and old of this classic to take part in themed fun.

Kids can participate in Mad Science in the Library at 4 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 5 and 19, and Wednesdays, Oct. 10 and 24.

Frankenstein-themed crafts and experiments will be available.

Farnsworth will lead a talk called “Frankenstein: The First Science Fiction Novel and Why It Matters,” which will include information on Shelley and the book, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The 1931 film “Frankenstein” will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and the film “Young Frankenstein” will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

Frankenfest, featuring all-day activities for kids, will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Kids and teens will have a chance to enter art contests inspired by the monster.

The FrankenArt Contests are open to kids ages 4 to 11 and in a second group from ages 12 to 18. Submission deadline is Oct. 30, can be in any medium and will be judged based on skill, originality and the creative use of combined art forms, according to the entry form.

One winner from each age bracket will win a $25 gift card to Watermark Book Co. and a basket of art supplies.

A Monstrous Nightmares Teen Writing Contest is open to anyone from age 13 to 18. Submissions are due Oct. 30 and must be less than 2,000 words.

The winner’s story will be printed and displayed in the Teen Zone at the library, and someone will read and record the story for a downloadable audio file on the library’s website.

The prize is a $100 gift card.

Contest questions can be sent to

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