Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Walter Dean Myers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,0002421,901 (3.67)1 / 51
Authors:Walter Dean Myers
Info:Amistad (2001), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 281 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:movie, hate, monster, emotions

Work details

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (1999)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the format of this story. I appreciated the ending and the thought this story provokes. ( )
  EllsbethB | Nov 15, 2015 |
To view an annotated bibliography of this title written for EDLI200, expand the spoiler entry below:

Young Adult
Modern Realistic Fiction
Dark Realistic Fiction
Street Violence

Estimated age level of interest:
Young Adult

Estimated reading level:
Grade 5

Brief description:
Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old from New York City, imagines a screenplay of his life story as he sits in prison before and during a trial that will determine whether or not he will be convicted for his alleged involvement in a store robbery that left a man dead.

At least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and how they appear in this book:
Dark realistic fiction generally touches of subjects that are considered by many to be taboo. Crimes and violence certainly fit into this category, and these are themes that are at the center of “Monster”. Although, as the reader learns, Steve did not play the role that he is accused of in the crime that he finds himself on trial for, his story illustrates the realities of life as a young, black male from a lower-income family, growing up on the inner streets of urban America. This life takes Steve across the path of many unadmirable characters and finds him bearing witness to violence and criminal behavior that many will never personally experience and would rather pretend does not exist.

Characteristics described in Chance’s text as being particularly common to the “street violence” sub-genre include “raw language, crowded cities, poverty, despair, and glimmers of hope”, all of which are present in “Monster”. The detached, unemotional way in which the murderers describe their criminal activities, the grimy depictions of the NYC projects, the seemingly futile struggle of inner city kids to overcome their circumstances, and, finally, Steve’s second chance at life upon acquittal fit nicely into this description of what one would expect to find in a work of fiction centered around street violence.

In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience?
My favorite takeaway lesson/message from this book is found in its examination of the difference between being “innocent” and being “not guilty”. Steve considers this heavily throughout the story, but especially at the end of his trial. He know that he is not criminally guilty, but still recognizes that this does not make him innocent. He is able to acknowledge the role that he had in everything that transpired and how his own choices brought him to be sitting in court to begin with. Too often, young people are not secure enough with themselves to admit their own role leading up to finding themselves in an undesirable situation, and thereby rob themselves of a valuable opportunity to learn a powerful lesson and grow from it. “Monster” lets them know that it is alright to admit one’s faults and that doing so is part of becoming a better person.

Awards, if any:
Michael L. Printz Award
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor Book
National Book Award Honor for Young People’s Literature
New York Times Bestseller
American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
American Library Association Teen Best Books for Young Adults
Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book
Amazon.com Top Ten Teen Books
Book Sense 76 Pick
Booklist Editor’s Choice Selection
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book
Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee
Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Finalist
Horn Book Fanfare Honor List
International Board on Books for Young People Honor List
Kentucky Bluegrass Book Award Finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist
Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award in High School Category Nominee
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
New York Times Notable Children’s Book
Ohio Buckeye Children’s Book Award Nominee
Parents’ Guide to Children’s Media Outstanding Achievement in Books Honor
Publishers Weekly 100 Best Books of the Year
Riverbank Review Children’s Book of Distinction
Texas Tayshas Reading List
Wyoming Soaring Eagle Award Nominee

Links to published, professional reviews, if any:

Editorial reviews available through…
Titlewave: http://www.titlewave.com/search?SID=850b167e010758c576cd4aaa33596706

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0064407314?ie=UTF8&isInIframe=1&n=28315...

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/monster-walter-dean-myers/1100488550?ean=9780064...

( )
  nphill85 | Oct 12, 2015 |
The screenplay written by a young man accused of felony murder while he is in prison & during the court trial for his case. His is accused of having been the scout to see if anyone was in the drug store before it was robbed. The owner of the store was killed by his own gun during the robbery. The main character claims his innocence, but as the trial goes on, we see him question and examine his own part in the alleged events. Interesting format written like a play. LOTS of good depth for discussions!
  TeachrBkMom | Aug 16, 2015 |
Unusual format: handwritten journal juxtaposed with a screenplay written by the protagonist who is a juvenile in jail. Both chronicle his court case and his feelings about it. It was okay. Warning for parents and teachers: in one moment in the beginning, the protagonist explains that he goes to bed hearing the sounds of a boy being beaten repeatedly by a 2-3 other boys and then being sexually assaulted by those boys. It's really the only time the novel crosses into "too inappropriate for my classroom" territory. There's no swearing, other sex, or graphic scenes. Meyers engages readers with simple vocabulary and syntax to convey the theme of tolerance, prejudice, and the consequences of peer pressure. A quick read, both for me and my 13-year-old. We both finished it in approximately 3 hours (separately). ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Steve Harmon is on trial as an accomplice to murder. Written as a movie screenplay with Steve’s journal entries scattered throughout, the story shows how one single decision can change your whole life. A case of guilty until found innocent, young adult readers will find the variety of texts formats intriguing as they realize Steve’s perception of himself is quite different from what others think of him and his situation. Through Myers deft and intriguing storytelling multiple sides of a story are presented in a thoroughly engaging manner. ( )
  MzzColby | Aug 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Dean Myersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Myers, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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?"
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:56 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 avail.
32 wanted
2 pay11 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.67)
0.5 6
1 17
1.5 7
2 37
2.5 19
3 207
3.5 58
4 288
4.5 35
5 142


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,880,908 books! | Top bar: Always visible