Grades 9 - 12
Grade level Equivalent: 5.5
Lexile® Measure: 990L
DRA: Not Available
Guided Reading: Not Available
- Legends and Myths
- Ghosts, Monsters, Vampires, Witches
About This Book
The classic story of Dracula, introduced here by Walter Dean Myers, still chills the soul. Dead for centuries...yet still he walks the earth. He is a vampire — brilliant, bloodthirsty, and cruel, hiding from the light of day and emerging at night to search for his next victims.
Count Dracula enlists the aid of a solicitor who will secure a house for him in London, where the Count intends to have his sway with some of the many people inhabiting that teeming city. By becoming involved with Dracula, Jonathan Harker learns of the true horror of the Count's power, but little does he know just how far the monster's power will reach.
Bram Stoker's fictional account of Count Dracula is based on vampire mythology and is constructed of many voices and impressions. The novel is a collection of journal entries and letters, penned by characters who become acquainted with the infamous Count Dracula. The book opens upon the journal of Englishman Jonathan Harker, who records, often in meticulous detail, his visit to the Count for the purpose of officiating over a land transaction. As he makes his way through the Carpathian Mountains, "one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe," to the Castle Dracula, he accepts a crucifix from a peasant woman, who implores him not to continue.
Harker at last meets Dracula. He's strong faced, with a "mouth... fixed and rather cruel looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed an astonishing vitality in a man of his years." Eventually, the Count will insinuate himself into Harker's life in England, turning Harker's associate's wife, Lucy, into one of the Undead, and eventually trying to win the love of and eventual dominion over Jonathan Harker's own bride, Mina, who will continually elude his grasp.
Stoker's interpretation of the myth is powerful because it allows evil to remain mysterious. What readers do learn is that this is a world where simple, virtuous action has little impact, and that, dramatically, it is only the old magic — crucifixes, garlic, and wooden stakes — that will ward off evil.
Published in 1897, Bram Stoker's hypnotic tale of the vampire Count — cunning, meticulous, intelligent, and imaginative — who embodies both the carnal and non-carnal worlds, moving freely in both, yet belonging to neither, endures a century later in this quintessential story of suspense and horror.
For mature readers.