Monday, August 04, 2014

Book Review: Monster by Walter Dean Myers

1251917Monster Discussion
Title: Monster
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 21st 1999 by Amistad
Steven Harmon, a sixteen year old boy from Harlem, is on trial for murder because of his involvement in a stick-up gone wrong.  Steve’s role in the stick-up was to walk through the drugstore and to check and make sure there weren’t any cops.  Even though his role was minor compared to the others, there is still chance he could do 20 to life. 

To cope with all that is going on around him, Steve begins to view the trial like it is a movie.  He rewrites the trial’s goings-on like a screenplay.  He uses the skill that he learn in his favorite class in school, film making.

One of the lawyers refers to Steve and the others on trial as monsters; the comment has really affected Steve.  Is he a monster? Is there still goodness in his soul? Steve has to ask himself these questions.

Monster is a book that I have been planning on reading for the last ten years and only now read it.  The author, Walter Dean Myers, died recently so I thought I should go ahead and read the book.  I am very glad I did.  It is not the usual type of thing I read, but I am glad I picked it up.

·      The typography was very interesting.  The book ended up being a lot shorted that I thought.
·      This good is a quick read, and I was immediately drawn into the story.   
·      I don’t live in Harlem (or even a big city). I live in a suburban town. I don’t live in poverty. I’m a middle class American.  I am not a teenage African-American boy.  I’m a twenty-two year old white female.  Despite all of this I feel like I was able to relate to Steve. Myers wrote this story in such a way that I believe that anyone can relate to Steve Harmon.  
·      Steve’s thoughts about his morality were very emotional. I could tell that he was bother about the idea that he was less than human, that he was something else… a monster.
·      It has always been hard for me to read screenplays.  So, that caused me a little bit of trouble, but not too much.
·      I sometimes didn’t understand the terminology especially that Bobo used.  Most of the time the lawyers explained the terms, it wasn’t a big deal.

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