Read Monster by Walter Dean Myers Online

monster

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken....

Title : Monster
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780439202176
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 281 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Monster Reviews

  • karen
    2018-12-31 16:01

    amended review, with spoilers:are all teen books written in eye-catching, typographically unconventional ways?? or is it just this one reading list?? i have nothing really to say about this book, except that for a sixteen-year-old boy in jail, it might benefit him to adopt less girly handwriting. kids, stay out of jail. don't associate with criminals. don't lie about your involvement because any close reader will notice, and you will be screwed. and, really, less girly...i have just returned from my teen lit readers' advisory class and everyone just ooohed and ahhhed over this book and even though i read it last summer, the gushing reaction of everyone else made me drop a star from my previous rating. no. no. no. it is not "gritty and edgy", this is absurd. and a close reading of this book reveals several inaccuracies that pretty much solidify the fact that despite the narrator's repeated claims that he is innocent, well, he's not. at all. and so basically, this book becomes one long lie about a character avoiding responsibility for a shitty thing he did, and couldn't even lie well enough to effectively get out of. and greg's review points out what a shitty low--reward crime it was. i am sick of people who are not prepared to accept that their actions have consequences, in fiction or otherwise. be a man. although, with that handwriting, you are probably more likely about to learn what it is like to be a woman.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2018-12-22 18:14

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “My job is to make sure the law works for you as well as against you, and to make you a human being in the eyes of the jury. Your job is to help me.”You may recall several months ago a horrific tragedy befell my family – I LOST MY KINDLE IN MY OWN HOUSE!!!! I did what any sane reader would do and immediately went into meltdown mode and demanded the okay to order a new one (which was promptly given to me because I = psychopath and even the hubs don’t want to mess with me when I’m having a B.F.). After an hour or so I came to my senses (well, as much as is possible) and realized I should be placing the emphasis of the Kindle being lost IN MY OWN HOUSE. I figured as soon as the new one arrived I’d find the old and have to eat serious amounts of crow for eternity. So I did another thing that’s sure to win me my Mother Of The Year Award once again and purloined the youngest’s reader instead (since he pretty much only used it for Minecraft and that is whack). Months went by and then like magic my Kindle fell out from between the slats in the dining room chair where it had managed to wedge itself and remain incognito so long ago and I realized that if both Kindles were attached to my account I could force suggest a buddy read . . . . You see, the young one is not necessarily a fan of reading, but it does count for a pretty whopping portion of his ELA grade so he is obligated. Last year he proved he was definitely not adopted when he hid in the john for 20 minutes every night like a shady little son-of-a-gun and wasn’t really reading at all. This year I learned from my mistake and had him read a book I had already read (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian if you’re curious.) And guess what happened?????He still doesn’t loooooooove to read (and most assuredly stops when his 20 page requirement is over no matter how interesting he finds what’s going on), but he doesn’t moan and groan if presented contemporary realistic fiction. He also likes a low page count and he prefers an unconventional style if we can find it. And allllllllllllllllllllllllll of that ramble is what led us to Monster.Monster is . . . .“The incredible story of how one guy’s life was turned around by a few events and how he might spend the rest of his life behind bars. Told as it actually happened!” The main character is Steve Harmon, a 16 year old boy who is on trial for murder of a corner store owner in Harlem. While only being accused of playing “lookout” for the men who actually committed the robbery/ended up shooting the victim, a zero tolerance policy for violent crimes has Steve facing 25 to life just as if he were the one who pulled the trigger. Before getting sent to jail to wait out his trial date, Steve’s favorite hobby was making movies. Therefore, Monster reads like a screenplay and the reader discovers that . . . . “Most people in our community are decent, hardworking citizens who pursue their own interests legally and without infringing on the rights of others. But there are also monsters in our communities – people who are willing to steal and to kill, people who disregard the rights of others.” Over the course of 281 pages, you get to decide which category you think Steve belongs in.This was a winner for both the kidlet and myself. A super fast read that easily held the interest of even the not-so-dedicated reader. It also presented quite the resume for itself: Michael L. Printz Award (2000), Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor (2000), Lincoln Award Nominee (2005), National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature (1999), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor for Fiction (1999) which leads me to my one gripe –NOT about the book, but about middle-school teaching/philosophies/beliefs/whatever in general . . . . This book was ON A GIANT BULLETIN BOARD OF “RECOMMENDED READS” in the teacher’s classroom when we went in for Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences. Like Ralphie’s father in A Christmas Story, it won alllll the major awards. My kid read it BASED ON THE TEACHER’S SUGGESTION. And yet it’s not a story that is allowed to be discussed in class. Why the eff not????? Seriously parents, these kids are 12 and 13 years old. Steve Harmon was only 16 in this book when his entire life was potentially going to be snatched away from him. Books like this show the privileged suburbanite a taste of what really goes on in the world. Stop hiding them from your children and stop bitching at teachers that your special snowflake is too precious and delicate to know about the atrocities of modern day American and READ THEM WITH YOUR KID. Then talk about it. Then tell them about real life situations when you hear them on the news. Make sure they know the consequences in order to see that they (hopefully) won’t put themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time. Don’t stick your head in the sand for cripes sake!If you have any other suggestions that fit the bill of realistic middle-grade fiction, please share below. My kid might not be super thankful, but I will be ; )

  • Greg
    2018-12-27 14:52

    Nowhere in the book does the pointlessness of what has happened get mentioned. The basic plot is that right before Christmas a drugstore on Malcolm X Boulevard gets robbed. The owner pulls a gun, the gun gets turned on him and he dies. The thieves steal the money in the register and a few cartons of cigarettes, that one of the robbers then sells on the street for five bucks a carton. There are supposedly four people involved in this mastermind heist that I'm guessing nets about $230 (six cartons of smokes at 5 bucks a pop, and a register till usually only has about 200 bucks in it, I can't imagine that drugstore in pre-gentrified 1990's Harlem would have kept more in it at anytime). Split four ways this is about 57 dollars a person and change. This is never mentioned in the book. It's this pointlessness of the whole scheme that struck me as most poignant, that for this pocket change an 'elaborate' conspiracy was created and carried out. Maybe after watching The Wire and reading Clockers the Game being played here seems absurd, like small reward for high risks, that give a stupidity or sheer desperation to the people involved. Maybe it's the ease that the 5-0 make their case based on hearsay, without any kind of physical evidence that makes me feel a little too removed from the story, like this is something that wouldn't happen, but maybe that is just me having my only experiences with criminal trials come from TV Crime Procedurals. Maybe it's the ease that everyone is rolling on everyone else, begging to rat out anyone that they can to get off on some crime that they committed that feels a little strange, like there would be no repercussions in this world for being an open snitch. Again maybe Richard Price is distorting my view of what the world is really like out there. Besides the absurdity of the crime, the other fascinating thing in this book is the unreliability of the story. In at least three spots the truthfulness of what the main character is writing into his movie create tensions that could undermine the whole basis of his story. They are just small things said or done in the story, but they bring into question if anything that happened according to the main character can be trusted at all.

  • Tatiana
    2018-12-20 14:53

    Monster is an interesting book in several ways.First, it is written in the format of a movie screenplay interjected with the main character's - a 16-year old African-American boy Steve Harmon's - diary-like entries. I thought I would not like this format, I do not read many plays, but it turned out to be quite the opposite - the format made the story much more dynamic. Steve is on trial for murder (he is accused of being a lookout during a robbery resulting in the death of the store owner), therefore the screenplay unfolds as an intense courtroom drama, where majority of the witnesses are criminals who were at some point cut a deal to testify against Steve and Steve's alleged partner and killer - James King. Second, the story raises a multitude of questions about guilt, peer pressure, racial stereotyping, and flaws of court system. How can you possibly trust the testimonies of criminals, who do so only to reduce their sentences? Is Steve guilty or he just happened to be in a wrong place at a wrong time? If he is innocent, how can a Harlem black boy possibly distance himself from criminals (who he is only acquainted with) in the eyes of the jury? If he is guilty, is his screenplay a way for him to convince himself of his innocence? If he was in a fact a lookout, does it make him a murderer? And does it even matter if he is guilty or innocent if in the eyes of people around him he is a MONSTER regardless of the outcome of the trial?The ending of the book is vague, we all have to decide if Steven is a victim or a criminal. I love that after reading some reviews, I see people have come to conclusions completely opposite to mine. A great story to ponder on and discuss.

  • Brenda Morris
    2018-12-25 21:11

    This is my most recent reading of a book I've already taught two or three times in ninth grade English classes. This is a great book for people who don't necessarily enjoy reading. The movie script format means the action moves quickly and may make it more appealing to people who enjoy movies a lot. Myers doesn't give too much away about the story either, which both builds suspense and leaves the reader with something to think about and to talk about. The 16 year old protagonist who is on trial for allegedly participating in a robbery that ended in murder is realistic, sympathetic, and interesting.

  • Alissa Patrick
    2019-01-10 16:06

    3.5 stars I chose this book for my Children's Book Challenge- I have never heard of it before, but it has won several awards, including one of the Best Books of the Year in 1999 and was a NYTimes bestseller. This is the story of Steve Harmon, a 16 year old black male who is on trial for a botched robbery/murder. I listened to the audiobook in one sitting; I was so riveted. The flow of the novel was so different, bc Steve is telling the story himself as a movie, and it would appear the text is presented to the reader as a screenplay. It's a short one- 281 pages- but it packs a lot of punch.The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.That is the very first line of the book, and it definitely sets the tone.

  • Lauren Fidler
    2018-12-17 18:09

    here there be spoilers. just sayin'.So, i lobbied to add this book to my curriculum for 10th grade low levels next year. it's a quick read (although i suspect much less so for them) but it actually presents some very interesting ideas about identity, racism, guilt/innocence, and justice. the kids will all fixate on whether or not they think steve is guilty, which is sort of the crux of the action (he's on trial, suspected of being a "lookout" for a botcohed robbery of a convenience store where one man was murdered). because it's not made expressly clear, the reader essentially has to choose for themselves what they believe and it brings up the question of legal vs. moral innocence (i'm thinking casey anthony would also work as a nice tie in here - can you be found not guilty but still be, in a sense, condemned for what you've done). personally, i think steve is guilty. i think his screenplay attempts to distance himself from not only prison but from the crime itself - he is on the outside looking in on himself and who he was/is. i don't think he ever intended anyone to get hurt, and that's why he desperately looks for some semblance of humanity in himself.i don't think there was any way, however, for walter dean myers to actually find him guilty in a court of law and still have the message work effectively. it would have made the book about the crime, not the person, if that makes ANY sense at all. of course, i should have probably considered the deeper implications of that artistic decision. if steve can't even take responsibility for his decisions in his screenplay, and then gets away with murder, well, what the hell sort of message is that?

  • Cassandra
    2018-12-24 15:15

    "Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER." Actual rating 2.5Monster is a hard book to review. While reading it, I could definitely see the appeal and why so many people loved it as much as they did. It's well written, the format is fascinating, and the storyline is the opposite of dull. I can practically hear you asking why I didn't give it at least four stars. How does a book with these qualities not receive a glowing review as radiant as it's abundance of stars? Well, the beginning half of the book this was at least a four. But then I finished it and had a startling realization: I did not truly care for anyone in the book. Did I feel horrible for Steve and hope that he didn't have to go to prison? Absolutely. But I didn't care for Steve particularly. I cared for an innocent sixteen year old going to prison for a crime he didn't commit.All this said, I would still recommend this novel, especially for people who want to rethink the way they look at stereotypes and the plight of innocent people who happen to be the victims of these stereotypes. Despite the low review, I'm glad I read this and knowing what I would think of it, I still would have read it.

  • Alex
    2018-12-20 19:49

    Learned about it from this article about a book club for black boys.

  • Drew
    2019-01-03 18:08

    “They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can’t kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment.”Monster is a few different things. Most noticeably, it's a page-turner written in the unique form of a movie script. But it also analyzes the main character and his choices of morality.Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon was convicted of being an accomplice in a murder and robbery. Terrified he's going to end up in prison for life or get sentenced to death row, Steve tries to distract himself by keeping track of the events in jail as the case plays out.This was a short, thought-provoking read. It was a powerful punch highlighting an African-American boy's hard life, what it's like to experience prison, and what it means to be guilty or innocent.The ending didn't wrap everything up, which I think is the reason this book didn't get very good ratings. When I first finished it, I too was frustrated with the ambiguous ending that left things a little too open.But the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated the ending. Myers purposely left it open so the reader could decide what had happened on their own. In a way, the reader is supposed to give Steve the verdict: Guilty or not guilty?This was a look at a boy's character who may have got caught up in a terrible crime. I thought it was a great reflection on different kinds of people—the criminals, lawyers, judges, and witnesses were all distinctly developed.I found it very interesting and a complex look at human beings' actions.

  • Miss Nuding C8B
    2019-01-09 17:50

    This book is AWESOME! I highly recommend this book to people who struggle getting through books. It is a quick read, but a necessary one!

  • Katiria
    2019-01-12 13:03

    I will admit I thought this book was a non-fiction book when I first heard about it on Litsy. But than I heard it was a realistic fiction book, which I tend to stay away from realistic book. Because I just want to read about fiction worlds and step away from the real world issues in books from time too time. But I've been hearing great things about Monster on the Litsy app, that I was going to check it out from the library at first. But than when I was staying at my parents house recovery from my Achilles Heel surgery, I was looking through my little sister book shelf and I saw she had the book Monster. So I started too read it right away. Now Monster is a quick pace read, I read it in one setting, but it was not one of my favorite books that I read this year. Don't get me wrong it is a really good book, and it's great for educations use for students in school which I think kids and students should absolutely read this book. But like I said I don't normally read realistic book quite often. Monster is actually the first realistic book that I have read, and it most definitely won't be my last I would love too read my books like Monster in the near future. Now I don't want too go into any details about Monster, because I think every readers knows what it is about. But I will say I did highly liked and enjoyed it so much, it was totally a refreshing and very important read as well. And has open my eyes wide open to the reality of what's happening in the world today. All and all I really liked and enjoyed Monster that I am going to try read more realistic books in the near future!

  • Liz Janet
    2018-12-18 19:03

    I don't know what to believe about this story, I don't. I am still trying to figure out if it is a good or bad thing. This book is told through diary entries and as a screenplay by the main character. Yes, it is not the conventional way of doing things, but I thought it a beautiful way to tell the story, even though everything this man writes is gold. This helped, as questions relating to race, dehumanization, relative or subjective nature of the truth and identity began to rice within me (also, if you are a person interested in law, or know the flaws within the court system, this will be a cake walk, one will be able to analyze it with no problem). I don't want to talk about the characters, that is a decision that every one must make individually, if you believe what is told, or if you make your own assumptions. However this is a powerful book, and with the current situation in the United States pertaining to incarceration, race, and police brutality, it is one that should be carefully studied by all young people, so as to gather perspective of the ills of the world.

  • Skip
    2018-12-16 21:17

    16-year old Steve Harmon is on trial as the lookout man in a Harlem convenience store robbery gone wrong, and the manager is killed with his own gun. The story is told in a unorthodox manner, switching between entries in Steve's diary and an imagined screenplay. Portrayed as a monster, the reader is left to determine his guilt or innocence as a number of troubled youth/criminals testify against Steve. His own worries and thoughts are intertwined as the court case comes to its conclusion.

  • Stephen M
    2019-01-14 17:16

    All the interesting elements within the book are rehashed in the lawyer's closing statements. In it, we're forced to go through every plot point in the book -- except that during these lawyer soliloquies all the events in the book have been condensed into a few sentences. That renders the entire book pointless. This alone could have been a successful short story if Myers had published just that section of the book. King be damned! Cut out the unnecessary; leave the essential! Have we learned anything from His wisdom?But of course, it wouldn't have been a YA novel to win awards and accolades. AND THERE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THE (view spoiler)[happy cliche expected (hide spoiler)]ENDING. It's important to have black representation in popular literature and YA especially, but to be honest, I don't think that Myers digs deep enough here. Maybe I'm a die-hard cynic, but this still feels a bit cheery, dewey-eyed, and tame. I don't think this does quite enough justice to the experiences of blacks in America. But what do I know.Seriously. Take that opinion with the biggest grain of salt y'all've got. I'm not the person to be making claims about this issue.

  • Melissa
    2019-01-01 14:10

    The book has a unique format; it is written as a movie script. This format gives the reader more blatant clues about setting, and vocal cues (such as subdued, whispering, and showing anger) than would a traditionally formatted novel. There are also variations made in typeface and font that give other cues to the reader. I’m not entirely positive this was all necessary though. The plot is incredibly intense, and a first person narration might have been just as sufficient in telling this story. However, it does offer an element of creativity to the narrator’s character that wouldn’t otherwise be obvious to the reader. I can see that this is a very well written book, and intellectually I know it’s an important topic and a powerful story. I know that a lot of people think this is a terrific book. I just didn’t really like it. The trial, and Steve’s desire to be seen as innocent, and the permanently damage family relationship, gosh, all of that just really got to me. I’m sure that’s a sign of excellent writing…I would not hesitate to recommend it to those looking for an intense book, but for me, I’d rather read something lighter.I think the intensity of the trial, the seriousness of the crime, and the desperation of the main character make me think this would be more suited to older readers, so I would recommend the 15-18-year-old crowd. It might be too difficult for a younger reader to cope with the pressure of the trial and the assumption of Steve’s guilt by his attorney. A younger reader might not be able to understand the long-term affects of the trial on Steve’s life either, and I feel that’s an important part of the story.

  • Calvin
    2018-12-21 15:15

    Monster HarperCollins Publishers, 2001, 281 pp., $8.99 Walter Dean Myers ISBN-13: 9780064407311 Did you ever wonder what happens after a person gets arrested? Well, I have always wondered what happen to the people that walk to a police precinct with handcuffs. What happen to the people that get sentenced to jail for life. Can a person come out and restore their lives again? How can people get back on their feet? Well, Steve Harmon did. Steve Harmon is a 16 year old African American boy, which is on trial for murder. In this book, you get to go behind the scenes to see what really happens behind those locked bars. He has to stand trail for killing someone in an attempted robbery, which he claims he never did. This is just the beginning of his adventure.Magnificent, that’s the word I would use to describe this book. The book is written differently than any other book I’ve read. It’s like a movie. Walter Dean Myers is a great author, so you are in for a treat. Once I started read this book, I wanted to read more to try to find out what happens next. There seems to be a motivation in this book to make you keep on reading. I really recommend this book if you like something that is unique. I couldn’t stop reading once I started. Mr. Myers has done an excellent job by getting into the mind set of an arrested man and writing this great book. -Calvin Lee

  • Crisainy Valdez
    2018-12-26 15:09

    I give monster a rate of 5 stars because this book is such an amazing book. I love this book because of the mystery of it. It gives us clues of who murder Mr.Nesbitt. In this book a young man named Steve Harmon had been put in jail because he supposably killed a man that worked in a drug store. But there is a twist to this story because Steve is making documentary about his like in jail, he puts a lot of stuff like trial,when he is sleeping and much much more Steve was changed 25 years to life for a crime he didn't commit!! But he got out of jail after he was declared not guilty. Furthermore Mr.King and Bobo were both put in jail because they committed the crime. Bobo was put in for 25 years to life because he robbed cigarettes and King is in jail for 25 years for life for the murder of Mr.Nesbitt I recommend this book to all people because it's a good book just to read with your child I loved it and you guys will love it too i hope so!!

  • Jessica
    2018-12-24 13:53

    Meh. This book was okay.The format was really weird and kind of hard to follow, but the story was okay.Would I have picked up this book without being forced to? No. Was I forced to read this book by my English teacher? Yes.If you like books about trials over a murder crime then you'll like this book.If you like books that have a weird format, you'll also like this book. (Good luck trying to follow the story, though)If you like books that repeat the same thing over and over again until you basically know what's going to happen in the next scene, you're REALLY going to like this book.In other words, the book was meh.

  • Dylan Tsao
    2019-01-13 19:16

    I loved this book, it was fast and easy to read. I loved the way how the book was written which was like a movie script and a journal. This was really interesting to me as this was the first book that I have ever read in this format. I highly recommend this book to someone who is looking for a quick book that they can rush through. As you can tell, I started this book on the bus, read 45 pages then continued when I got home. In total this book took me about 3 hrs to finish. Even though the book may appear long, the content isn't that difficult and you will rush through the first few pages really quickly.

  • Ashley
    2018-12-26 21:09

    Monster by Walter Dean Myers is a criminal book. I know many people have read this book. for those who haven't read it, it is about a young African American teenager who gets blamed for a crime. A lesson i learned from this book is "Never believe in anyone who seems to be loyal." this leeson means that in any case you really think a person is loyal and is a good friend to you, and who u trust, don't happen to have much trust in them because u know know what they're like until the end.read:2008

  • Bookishrealm
    2018-12-17 18:52

    Okay so I have a lot to say about this one. I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The format was really hard to get into and then on top of that I truly believe that the narrator was unreliable. There were things that he stated in his personal journal that didn't line up with his testimony which almost made me feel like something about the situation wasn't completely right. I just wanted more from the novel and I'm not sure if it was the authors intention to keep everything so vague, but I literally finished this book in one sitting and didn't understand why I started it to begin with. I didn't really understand the whole premise of the case, it felt as though pieces were missing and it seemed as though everything was based on hearsay. To be quite honest, I really didn't enjoy it. If anyone has a better perspective of the novel please let me know.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2018-12-22 14:49

    Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.comSixteen-year-old Steve is on trial for murder. But he's having trouble understanding why. "What did I do? I walked into a drugstore to look for some mints, and then I walked out. What was wrong with that? I didn't kill Mr. Nesbitt"(p. 140). Nothing is wrong with that, of course--unless the purpose of that casual trip was to give the "all clear" for a robbery that ended in the murder of the store's owner. Then, something is very wrong. By structuring the book as a movie script being written by the character as he spends his days in prison, faces his jury, prepares with his lawyer, confronts his mother and father, and, most importantly, examines his own life, Myers presents Steve as a talented young man who may have made a single poor choice. However, Myers retains conflict necessary for building a compelling storyline by having Steve refuse to acknowledge his part in Mr. Nesbitt's death. The result is that the reader wants to sympathize with the teen, but cannot help but wonder, if Steve truly does not understand why what he did was wrong, what is going to keep him from going astray in the future? Maybe, as the prosecutor stated, Steve really is a monster. Overall, MONSTER sends an excellent message to young adults: You, and only you, are responsible for the choices you make, and the consequences for those choices may ultimately affect not only the rest of your life, but the lives of the people around you--and maybe those you do not even know. Therefore, think about what you are doing, consider the consequences of your actions, and choose wisely. Boston Globe--Horn Book Awards, Honor Book,1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Young Adult Fiction, Finalist 1999 Coretta Scott King Awards, Honor Book, 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, Nominee, Best Young Adult Novel, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, Winner, 2000 Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Grades 9-12, Winner, 2002

  • Christine
    2019-01-08 20:57

    General response/reaction: A great book. I love the way it was written in play form with side notes from Steve. It made the read easier and the dialog kept it interesting. The story line was great as well. I was nervous for Steve during the whole book.Subjects, Themes, and Big Ideas: Figuring yourself out, peer pressure, raceCharacters: Steve Harmon, Kathy O’brien, Sandra Petrocelli, James King, Bobo Evans, Osvaldo Cruz, Lorelle Henry, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon, Jerry, Jose Delgado, George Nipping, Mr. NesbittPlot summary: A boy named Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. He is said to have been the lookout for a group of boys robbing a convenience store and killing the convenience store worker. The story is told from Steve’s point of view in the form of a play and journal entries that Steve wrote while he was in prison and going though trial. He faces a sentence of 25 years in prison to life and even possible the death sentence. The book talks about the experiences he goes through and how jail feels when you are actually inside and not watching it in a movie. The reader finds late in the book that he was actually the lookout for the crime. Steve’s teacher gets on stand and tells the courtroom how he is an honest person and a good student. Steve seems honest to the jury and the book ends with everybody but him being proven guilty. Steve’s lawyer and own parents do not believe that he was innocent but he gets off. Strengths (including reviews and awards): Two time National Book Award Finalist, Newbury honor recognition Drawbacks or other cautions: murderTeaching Ideas: After reading this book as a class, you could take the class on a field trip to a real court trial. Afterwards, the students could right a journal entry on the trial and how it made them feel.

  • Shelly
    2018-12-19 13:49

    Definitely an interesting novel that garners discussion. I can't wait to discuss it at book club!

  • Lauren Murray
    2019-01-15 15:53

    A powerful take on systematic injustice that is accessible to young adults. It's more plot driven than character based, which frustrated me; I would like more development and complexity to characters other than Steve. A pretty predictable outcome, but moving journal entries from the narrator that prove trauma leaves a lasting impression on one's life.

  • Frances
    2019-01-12 19:48

    I had seen this book on many bookshelves in many schools, but I had never been picked it up. Once I started reading it, I knew it would become a part of my bookshelf. Monster is thought provoking, a very quick read, approachable, relatable and compassionate. My copy now has my name written on its spine. It's a novel that should be shared.

  • Lauren Waters
    2019-01-14 15:04

    I enjoyed the screenplay style of this book. It helped me visualize what was taking place in the courtroom. I also liked the overall plot and author's note at the start, but I wish the main character was further developed with some further insight to his intentions and decision making.

  • Kevin Bracety
    2019-01-09 20:52

    This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I absolutely loved this book. The cover of the book had me liking it from the start. Monster is written like a movie script. this helps because it is less intimidating than most books that go in with more detail. Monster by Walter Dean Myers is truly a Mystery type of book. It is about a African American teenager who gets in trouble with the law. Steve Harmon is looking at Twenty-five years to life in Prison. Steve doesn't know what to think anymore. He is dealing with the trial he is on and being scared out of his mind with the nastiness that surrounds him in prison . He documents his feelings and experiences that he is faced with. The book is perfect for all age groups. The text is writing in a much larger than most of the young adult novels that i have read in the past. If your looking with a novel that every single page is full of mystery until the end. I would highly recommend this book to you.

  • Kathrina
    2019-01-13 15:57

    My son liked this book, mostly because he liked reading it as movie script. It is a visual story and works well in this format. I liked it because it is a young readers' title with an unreliable narrator. Most youth books don't take this risk, and it gives the reader a little more trust and responsibility in figuring what is really going on. Still, the story seemed simplified, both to fit the movie script format and also possibly not to overwhelm the reader. This would be a good title for a young reluctant urban reader. There are some issues that could lead to some very good group discussion, mostly dealing with truth vs survival, and anticipating our narrator's future. October 2015 second read


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