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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster (1999)

by Walter Dean Myers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,8282272,057 (3.68)1 / 45

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Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
So I confess, I read this book because I encountered it on a list of book someone felt young people should not read (because of the references to violence and prison rape, apparently). As I'm a little rebellious, I took note of the titles which sounded particularly dicey and requested this one from the library. After finishing this book, I must say that I completely disagree with the opinion that this book should not be read. Monster chronicles a young man accused of a crime through the creative means of a diary and screenplay he writes about his trial. Yes, there is violence and rape in this book, but even more powerful is the critique of the social system - which might have been the real reason this book ended up on a Do-Not-Read List. On the contrary, I found it well-worth the read. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jul 27, 2014 |
Reread in 2014....can say it's any better. Checked it out from the library to read along with the African American read along for February....because I forgot that I had read it. This wouldn't typically be a "must reread!"

Read it as a potential to read with students...It's ok in that sense (the read with students sense)...but not life-altering.... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Reread in 2014....can say it's any better. Checked it out from the library to read along with the African American read along for February....because I forgot that I had read it. This wouldn't typically be a "must reread!"

Read it as a potential to read with students...It's ok in that sense (the read with students sense)...but not life-altering.... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Monster by Walter Dean Myers Illustrator Walter Dean Myers
Published HarperCollins Publishers, 2004: 281 Pages Realistic Fiction Harmon who is on trial for being part of a robbery and a murder. He writes down what is doing on as a movie screen, and writes journals as side notes. In the end he is found innocent but he still feels bad about what all has happened. I didn’t enjoy this book was not as light hearted and fun as the other books but I do believe it still has its place to teach a lesson in youth.
  joey_spencer | May 13, 2014 |
Bibliographic Information: Walter Dean Myers, “Monster”, Illustrated by Christopher Myers, Published by HarperCollins, ©1999, 281 pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Summary: Steve Harman is a sixteen black boy who is in jail for murder. He describes everything in a notebook set up like a film. He was supposed to be the guy that goes into the pharmacy and tell the guys if it was clear. In the pharmacy though he changed his mind and didn’t return the signal. He talks about what it is like in prison and describes how horrible it is. This book has multiple setting in court, in the cell, in a film class and etc. Steve ends up not being guilty but forever changed.
Tags: Prison, struggle, life, hurt
My Response: I really enjoyed this book for the story but not for how it was set up. I found it hard to read and follow along with. It was easy to read how we read it in class where everybody had a part. The way Steve describes prison is very vivid and scary. I know if students read this in high school or junior high they would probably relook at how they do things.
  EmilyBascio | May 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Dean Myersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Myers, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To John Brendel for his long friendship
First words
The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.
I think I finally understand why there are so many fights. In here all you have going for you is the little surface stuff, how people look at you and what they say.

I am so scared. My heart is beating like crazy and I am having trouble breathing.

I want to know who I am.

...what did she see that caused her to turn away?"
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Book description
I appreciated this story, and think it is a good read for young adults. I also think this book has the potential to bring in young readers who may not be that interested in reading. A big idea around the story is decision making and consequences which easily opens up discussion. Additionally, the story is presented and the reader reaches their own decision which would foster debate and interpretation skills within the reader.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064407314, Paperback)

"Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve's life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial. "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."

Myers, known for the inner-city classic Motown and Didi (first published in 1984), proves with Monster that he has kept up with both the struggles and the lingo of today's teens. Steve is an adolescent caught up in the violent circumstances of an adult world--a situation most teens can relate to on some level. Readers will no doubt be attracted to the novel's handwriting-style typeface, emphasis on dialogue, and fast-paced courtroom action. By weaving together Steve's journal entries and his script, Myers has given the first-person voice a new twist and added yet another worthy volume to his already admirable body of work. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:51 -0400)

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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.

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