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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Walter Dean Myers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,9672401,929 (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)


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Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
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 |
Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. As a way to hold it together through his terrible nights in prison and the stress of the trial, he records events as part diary and as though he were writing a movie script about his life. It was an interesting structure and fits with Steve's personality, since one of his passions is to make films. But while the structure suits the character, it also created emotional distance from me, like I was looking at events through a lens instead of getting into Steve's head. The most moving moments in the novel were those written in diary format, where we were able to see more than just the surface and really get into his head. ( )
  andreablythe | May 18, 2015 |
This is a multicultural novel about a man who is wrongly put in jail and also on trial for the killing of police officer during a robbery. He writes his point of view in jail as a script like a play of what would have been acted out from his point of view. He is wrongly put in jail and ends up being released as innocent. This book goes through his trial and how he has to prove that he is innocent. He goes through a lot of pain and anxiety and he tells us his point of view in his wrongful accusation of killing a police officer. This is an example of a realistic fiction book. ( )
  sarahetuemmler | Apr 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
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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 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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