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Walter Dean Myers (1937–2014)

Author of Monster

152+ Works 32,572 Members 1,185 Reviews 21 Favorited

About the Author

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsberg, West Virginia. When he was three years old, his mother died and his father sent him to live with Herbert and Florence Dean in Harlem, New York. He began writing stories while in his teens. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in show more the Army at the age of 17. After completing his army service, he took a construction job and continued to write. He entered and won a 1969 contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, which led to the publication of his first book, Where Does the Day Go? During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His works include Fallen Angels, Bad Boy, Darius and Twig, Scorpions, Lockdown, Sunrise Over Fallujah, Invasion, Juba!, and On a Clear Day. He also collaborated with his son Christopher, an artist, on a number of picture books for young readers including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart and Harlem, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, as well as the teen novel Autobiography of My Dead Brother. He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. He also won the Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors five times. He died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness, at the age of 76. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Walter Dean Myers

Monster (1999) 5,055 copies
Fallen Angels (1988) 1,875 copies
Sunrise Over Fallujah (2008) 1,348 copies
Slam! (1996) 1,244 copies
Bad Boy: A Memoir (2001) 1,163 copies
Somewhere In The Darkness (1992) 1,086 copies
Scorpions (1988) 1,039 copies
The Glory Field (1994) 796 copies
Hoops (2008) 757 copies
Harlem (1997) 695 copies
The Greatest: Muhammad Ali (2001) 574 copies
Shooter (2004) 478 copies
Lockdown (2010) 423 copies
The Cruisers (2010) 404 copies
145th Street: Short Stories (2000) 396 copies
Game (2008) 370 copies
Riot (2009) 355 copies
Dope Sick (2009) 355 copies
Monster: A Graphic Novel (2015) 330 copies
Street Love (2006) 329 copies
Handbook for Boys: A Novel (2002) 323 copies
Jazz (2006) 321 copies
Looking Like Me (2009) 297 copies
The Beast (2003) 268 copies
Darius & Twig (2013) 257 copies
Harlem Summer (2007) 252 copies
Kick (2011) 243 copies
Darnell Rock Reporting (1994) 230 copies
All the Right Stuff (2012) 206 copies
Invasion (2013) 182 copies
The Weather Baby (2000) 179 copies
Blues Journey (2003) 179 copies
The Young Landlords (1979) 177 copies
The Outside Shot (1984) 177 copies
The Mouse Rap (1990) 176 copies
Won't Know Till I Get There (1875) 170 copies
The Dream Bearer (2003) 158 copies
Juba!: A Novel (2015) 156 copies
Shadow of the Red Moon (1995) 141 copies
On a Clear Day (2014) 130 copies
The Legend of Tarik (1981) 129 copies
Crystal (1987) 123 copies
It Ain't All for Nothin' (1979) 107 copies
Just Write: Here's How! (2012) 105 copies
The Blues of Flats Brown (2000) 71 copies
Motown and Didi (1862) 65 copies
Carmen (2011) 65 copies
Tales of a Dead King (1983) 58 copies
The dragon takes a wife (1995) 56 copies
Victory for Jamie (1977) 44 copies
Cruisers Book 4: Oh, Snap! (2013) 39 copies
The Golden Serpent (1980) 36 copies
Three Swords for Granada (2002) 31 copies
Looking for the Easy Life (2011) 25 copies
Fighter (2003) 11 copies
Where does the day go? (1969) 11 copies
The Test (1992) 9 copies
Sweet illusions (1987) 6 copies
Brainstorm (1977) 5 copies
Fly, Jimmy, fly! (1974) 5 copies
The dancers (1972) 5 copies
Mojo and the Russians (1977) 5 copies
TAKING SIDES (18 Pine St) (1994) 3 copies
Harlem blues (1996) 3 copies
The Nicholas Factor (1983) 3 copies
Pirate a short story (2011) 2 copies
Sky Man (18 Pine Street) (1994) 2 copies
The House With 9 Rooms (2011) 2 copies
Peto (2000) 2 copies
Tags (HarperTeen Impulse) (2013) 2 copies
The Cruisers 1 copy
the outsider 1 copy
18 pine st. 1 copy
Monstrul 1 copy
Potwor (2021) 1 copy

Associated Works

Dracula (1897) — Introduction, some editions — 34,685 copies
Guys Write for Guys Read (2005) — Contributor — 764 copies
Flying Lessons and Other Stories (2017) — Contributor — 572 copies
Fresh Ink: An Anthology (2018) — Contributor — 362 copies
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out (2008) — Contributor — 340 copies
Guys Read: Thriller (2011) — Contributor — 315 copies
Soul Looks Back in Wonder (1993) — Contributor — 204 copies
Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court (2011) — Contributor — 107 copies
The Color of Absence: 12 Stories About Loss and Hope (2001) — Contributor — 89 copies
Visions: 19 Short Stories (1987) — Contributor — 72 copies
911: The Book of Help (2002) — Contributor — 48 copies
Best African American Fiction (2009) (2009) — Contributor — 47 copies
Celebrate Cricket: 30 Years of Stories and Art (2003) — Contributor — 43 copies
Trapped!: Cages of Mind and Body (1938) — Contributor — 43 copies
Twelve Shots (1997) — Contributor — 39 copies
Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns (2015) — Contributor — 37 copies
Big City Cool: Short Stories About Urban Youth (2002) — Contributor — 35 copies
Don't Give Up the Ghost: A Book of Ghost Stories (1993) — Contributor — 29 copies
Funny You Should Ask (1992) — Contributor — 18 copies


19th century (654) African American (944) African Americans (368) basketball (263) biography (502) British literature (242) classic (1,366) classics (1,265) crime (212) Dracula (468) ebook (278) England (218) fantasy (706) fiction (4,518) gothic (900) Harlem (250) historical fiction (586) history (372) horror (3,018) Kindle (211) literature (592) non-fiction (415) novel (1,142) picture book (285) poetry (435) read (516) realistic fiction (796) short stories (616) size:large (309) size:medium (235) sports (387) supernatural (219) to-read (1,104) Transylvania (205) vampire (603) vampires (2,239) Victorian (297) war (328) YA (695) young adult (804)

Common Knowledge



Monster by Walter Dean Myer in EDE3343 Teaching Adol Lit MS Sp 2012 (January 2012)


Representation: Black characters
Trigger warnings: Murder, imprisonment, physical assault and injury, blood depiction, drug use mentioned
Score: Six points out of ten.
Find this review on The StoryGraph.

I saw Monster displayed on the shelves of a library I went to so after I read another book, I immediately seized the opportunity to get it by picking it up. Afterwards, I read Monster, but when I finished it, I thought it had flaws that forced me to lower its rating. Maybe the original text will be a better reading experience for me.

It starts with the first person I see, Steve Harmon, who is arrested and awaiting trial for a murder accusation. He finds an opportunity to live through that journey like it is a movie, and thus the court case begins. There are some flashbacks to explain what happened before the police arrested Steve like the other characters who committed a robbery and, most prominently, the murder of a person. Despite Monster being under 200 pages, it still felt slow paced, allowing me to see the flaws, of which there are many. Why is the art black and white? I can understand that to be intentional, but I would've liked it if the art was full colour. The characters were hard to connect or relate with and the font was hard to read, dampening my reading experience. The conclusion petered out as the legal drama comes to an end.
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Law_Books600 | 24 other reviews | Feb 26, 2024 |
I enjoyed this book. I liked the journal entries better than the film script parts though. Maybe that was because I read it too fast; I don't know. But I can say I have never read a novel like this before.
Dances_with_Words | 348 other reviews | Jan 6, 2024 |
I read the original version first (the non graphic novel). I like the idea of this as a graphic novel, but after reading this I think the original book was a better format. The story is impactful in both formats, but I think it works better in the original.
Dances_with_Words | 24 other reviews | Jan 6, 2024 |
This is a book about a school assignment. Sounds boring, right? Well, I think it managed to be as interesting as a book about a school assignment can be. See, there are these 8th graders: Zander, Kambui, Bobbi and LaShonda, collectively known as "The Cruisers" after an alternative school newspaper they produce. The Cruisers, all of them smart but unmotivated when it comes to school, are assigned to play the role of peacekeepers in a kind of mock Civil War going on at their school. The kids playing the part of the Confederacy take things too far, to the point where they offend people, especially the African-American students. Zander (who narrates the book) is one of the few black students at the school and the lead peacekeeper, so it ends up falling to him to put the Confederacy students in their place.

Zander has a unique way of putting things when he's trying to argue his point. For example, he won't get into a fight if he can't see the "win" in it. He keeps his cool as tempers flare over accusations of racism and arguments about free speech, so we get a pretty thoughtful, if slightly detached, discussion of slavery, history, and middle school culture. I wondered as I read if the Confederacy students really were purposely offensive, or if they were just callous or naive, but that's not really the point of the book. The point is how to deal with complex, senstive issues once they've been raised.

The book includes editorial pieces from The Cruiser as well as the official school paper. As I said, it's almost entirely focused on the Civil War assignment, but we do get to learn a little about the Cruisers' home lives. The parts with Zander and his actress mother were nice breaks from the school drama. I've heard there will be three other books to follow, probably one from the perspective of each Cruiser. Will they give up their lackadaisical attitude towards school by the end of the series? Maybe that's not the point...
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LibrarianDest | 9 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |



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