Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe – Carole Boston Weatherford


  Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe – Carole Boston Weatherford, Candlewick Press, (9781536206296), 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Genre: Fictional Biography in verse

What did you like about the book? Told in lyrical prose, the reader is permitted to step right inside the mind of Marilyn Monroe from her much disrupted and neglected childhood (her mother was a schizophrenic and unable to care for her much of the time) to her marriage at the age of 16 (this supposedly because she had nowhere else to live) to her modeling and acting careers, to her next two marriages.  And the unhappiness that overwhelmed her.

The story is printed on smooth satin paper, each page bordered or imprinted with abstract artwork reminiscent of the expensive, much sought out writing paper from the days when writing letters was a common occurrence.

Anything you did not like about the book?  I’m not sure about the interest today’s teens would have in Marilyn Monroe – just curiosity or for an assignment?  I also found the first-person voice rather confusing.  The book reads like a diary and obviously it is not.  I am sure that Weatherford researched Monroe thoroughly before writing this book but something felt wrong to me about assuming to know just how Monroe was feeling and thinking about all manner of occurrences in her life.

To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend it more to those who like novels-in-verse rather than as a biography of Marilyn Monroe yet it could also be a stepping off place to explore Monroe’s life more thoroughly.

Who should buy this book? Public and maybe high school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  YA fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  2/2/2021

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1 Response to Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe – Carole Boston Weatherford

  1. Stephanie Tournas says:

    Nice review!

    On Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 8:04 PM Youth Services Book Review wrote:

    > kyurenka posted: ” Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe – Carole > Boston Weatherford, Candlewick Press, (9781536206296), 2020 Format: > Hardcover Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5 Genre: > Fictional Biography in verse What did you like a” >

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