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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Walter Dean Myers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,3483101,622 (3.7)1 / 55
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)


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Showing 1-5 of 310 (next | show all)
This book is written as a screen play. At first I found this distracting, but as I read, the format began to enhance the story.
A local gas station located in the projects of New York City was robbed and the well-loved owner ended up dead. Steve Harmon, a 16 year old black man, is one of the two men who are on trial for his murder. Steve has been in a prison in New York City awaiting the trial where he is surrounded by strangers. Strangers who have been convicted of horrible crimes. Each night Steve lays awake in his cell listening to the horrific sounds of men being beaten and raped. Each night he prays that he won't wake from his nightmares with screams because he doesn’t want to be the one being beaten and raped the next night. Each day, Steven dresses in his suit and tie and goes to the courthouse where he sits through the trial, where the prosecuting attorney and other attendees in the courtroom only see him as a monster. Told through journal entries and a movie script-like format, Steve takes you through the trial, as well as gives you little hints of his life before he was in prison. Through the movie script version of the trial, we see the testimonies of witnesses as well as Steve’s film teacher from school. Walter Dean Myers paints a terrifyingly realistic tale of what life is like in prison. The style and layout of the book makes it a very quick and easy read. The changes in format allows for easy transitions and quick chapters. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Interesting book about a young black man who is on trial for participating in a crime. It’s written from his point of view, as if he were writing a movie script based on the circumstances. I love that we never really know his role in the crime. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Dec 26, 2016 |
I wouldn't reccomend this book to anyone; there were some good parts about finding out who you are and what you stand for. It's a easy read and has a unique format, it looks like a movie script. But if you get the chance to read it it's not worth the time. ( )
  Brinlie.Jill.Searle | Nov 22, 2016 |
Decent book. Really shows what can happen when you get involved with the wrong crowd. Would be good to read if you ever feel like tout don't belong. ( )
  Johnny-Allen | Sep 29, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book. It kept me on my toes. I did not want to set the book down. ( )
  kacywacy | Sep 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 310 (next | show all)
This book was good in my opinion. There were a lot of comments on the way the book was written, but I personally enjoyed it. It was a unique format and well written. The fact that he spent lots of time in prison helps make his story seem more real.
added by m.marie.g | editMSU AdolLit, Michelle Green

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Dean Myersprimary authorall editionscalculated
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 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)

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