Monster By Walter Dean Myers
New York Harper Tempest 2004 281p.
TAGS: Michael L. Printz Award 2000, Realistic Fiction
Walter Dean Myers writes, like most authors, about what he knows best. Most of his books are about growing up in the inner city, in Harlem. Life was tough and Walter Dean Myers was poor, but his books often reflect on what was learned from those tough lessons. In Monster, Steve Harmon is a 16 year old high school student who is an amateur filmmaker. Steve tells this story in first person through scripts and journal writings. His involvement is sketchy in a murder of a drug store owner, but this book finds him on trial and trying to cope with the stress of the trial by writing a movie script. He is called a “monster” by the prosecuting attorney and when Steve looks in the cell mirror he is not really sure who is looking back. The trial is interesting but his journal writings are very introspective and will keep teens engaged in this realistic fiction novel. Teens will also like the free verse type format of this book making it a quick and easy read. The reader will get to decide was he the lookout or at the wrong place at the wrong time. Because this book is set at the robbery, in prison and the courtroom there is content that not suitable for the younger readers! The cover is orange and black illustrated with a picture of an African American and the title. The title will probably be enough to draw students to this riveting novel.
Quality 5Q Popularity 4P Grades: JS Lexile: 670
Awards: Printz, Coretta Scott King Honor Book
Website: http://www.walterdeanmyers.net/ Neat website!