Monster

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Monster
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 21, 1999
ISBN
0060280778
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FADE IN: INTERIOR: Early morning in CELL BLOCK D, MANHATTAN DETENTION CENTER.

Steve (Voice-Over) Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster.

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1 reviews

Is he a monster? Or just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0

Monster is a terrifying book by Walter Dean Myers and it was nominated for the 1999 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.


It's a story of how the little things in life, the ones we don't even notice, can lead you down the path of despair before you even know it.


Steve Harmon, a sixteen year-old, is on trial for felony murder. And why is he, an aspiring film maker and good student, there? He's there because, in part, he wanted to be as "cool" and "bad" as the other defendants in the trial. On the mean streets of Harlem, he looked up to them and wanted to be like them. And now he's on trial because he let those people make some choices for him.


The story is told in a refreshing way, alternating between Steve's portrayal of the action as a film script (his way of dealing with the horror of it all is to distance himself by imagining he is behind the camera) and diary excerpts.


The diary entries were the most horrifying part for me. A teenager's fears should be about simple things (homework, dates, getting along with your parents), not whether he will be beaten or raped by other inmates. The pain, fear and humiliation of the jail time is effectively and realistically portrayed. Mr. Myers does not pull any punches.


And that is the best thing about this book. It is honest. Steve himself is not sure of his innocence and neither is his lawyer. You cannot help feeling both sorrow and repugnance for him as you read between the lines of the story. You can't help but wonder why he ever chose to associate with the other defendants--the same thing Steve is wondering himself.


Mr. Myers's research for the story took months. He interviewed drug pushers, prostitutes, killers and other criminals serving time. Through those interviews he learned that it isn't one step that lands you in jail; it's the little decisions you make every single day.


Monster should be read by teens across the world, especially those who would like to be as "cool" as the tough kids in school. This, as Paul Harvey would say, is "the rest of the story."

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Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
The novel follows sixteen-year-old Steve Harmond, an African American teenager from Harlem, who is on trial for his role as an accomplice in a drugstore robbery that resulted in the death of an employee.

To help him process this life changing experience Steve records his experiences in prison and court in the form of a film script and diary. This experimental narrative gives the reader two forms of narratives – a deeply personal first person narrative in the form of a diary and a more distant third person narrative in the film script.

As someone who has studied film and is familiar with scriptwriting conventions at first I was bothered by the scriptwriting convention errors, which briefly took me out of the story. But I put this behind me as I have to remember this is the script written by a sixteen-year-old – not a trained scriptwriter.

The novel features illustrations by Myer’s son Christopher, who is a children’s author and illustrator in his own right.

The title of the book and Steve’s script ‘Monster’ comes from a label given to him by the prosecutor. Is Steve a monster? That is a question he will struggle with as he comes to term with his identity – how he perceives himself and how he is seen my others.

The novel poses some serious questions and themes for the reader to consider, such as to whether Steve is guilty or not and the fairness of the judicial system. The subject material is obviously gritty, it deals with prison violence and the subject of prison rape is implied.

I would recommend Monster to junior high school age students up.
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Human...I Dont Think So...
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Shibu

       


             Monster 


By: Christopher pike


            


She said she killed them because they were no longer human. No, they arent vampires. This is no Edward and Bella love story. Vampires can control their thirst&monsters cant&.        


            Angela is determined to find out the mystery, behind Marys words. Kathy the head cheerleader CANNOT lift thousands of weights over her head, without breaking a sweat. HUMANS cant jump 20 feet in the air. Then again Mary said they werent human. Two people are dead how many more?


            Angela soon finds out the bitter truth behind Marys words, and realizes Mary wasnt lying. If only she found out earlier&she now wouldnt be a monster...her determination to kill the monsters is growing...but so is her thirst&will her thirst come in the way of saving the world? Or will she ruin everything by letting her thirst for blood control her? Will the amulet help her?


            This book drew me in, like a vampire draws blood from ones body. I was unable to put this book down; it seemed like a sin to not finish it, and was worth every minute. You will find yourself reading into the wee hours of the night. This is a PHENOMENAL book, written by none other than Christopher Pike. I recommend this to anyone and everyone. It has a trickle of everything; killed romance, blood and guts, and suspense to no extent. You want to know more...READ IT!            


           

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AWESOME FRIGGIN BOOK
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by big-brain

this book was so captivating! even for a 12 yr old like me! i am so glad it ended the way it did!!!! i don't how walter dean myers does it, but he does it well. while some people might not get into the book because they might think it's boring, i think it is absolutely marvelous! i also think that it would be very easy to make this book into a movie, seeing as it's written as a movie! wow, lotta exclamaation point! woohoo! OKAY, SERIOUS TIME.
so this is what happens, 16 yr old steve Harmon is tied to a felonious murder as the lookout. originally, it was just supposed to be a robbery, but took a took for the worse when the owner pulled out a gun and King turned it on him and killed him. so anyway, the setting is in jail and the courtroom, but mostly the courtroom. a bunch of people come in to testify, including "bobo" evans, the associate in the crime. i think it was kind of a weak argumant, seeing as he didn't know anything about what was going to ahpen during the robbery, he didn't even know the sign steve was suposed to give them, if steve was even there. so anyway, not to give too much away, i will tell you this tho, king is convicted, and steve lies on hte stand (also called purgery). did i mention this book was captivating?
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Great book:) Very sad....
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Emma L

This book is one of the saddest I have read in a while. Just imagining this 16 year olds life, it makes me want to burst out crying:( All the things that have happened to him, and all the things he's been through, make me fell extremely lucky for the wonderful life I was blessed with. It is a well-written book, as well as a well thought-out book. I love how the boy is telling the story, and it is from the first person's point of view. Great book. Would recommend it to anyone.
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ok, yet very addicting
Overall rating 
 
2.0
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2.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Jessica M.

Personally, I only rated this book two stars because it was 1) a school novel and 2) it had something to do with law. It is somewhat interesting, considering that this book is about 16 year old Steve Harmon on trial for murder. At least, involved in a crime without actually killing the victim. Steve writes the trial like a screenplay in his notebook (aka the book itself)which is kind of unique. It was not the greatest book in the world, but then again, I'm not in to courtroom dramas.
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Read This Book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Beth

Monster is a book written as a screenplay about 16 year old Steve Harmon. It is his tale of his trial and stay in the prison. He is a high school student who belongs to the film club. He says that the trial and everything revolving around it seems like a movie to him. It lets you decide whether or not Steve is guilty as you read through the court happenings. I was happy with the ruling in the end.
I felt that the way the trial was presented was pretty true to life. The book brought up some interesting points about the way that the judicial system works and the prejudice's that we already have about those on trial. Steve's character is very evident from the things that he has written and it is easy to have feelings about the way the trial should end up. I almost felt like a juror by the end of the book.
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Capivating Beyond Belief
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Reader reviewed by Nikki

MONSTER blew my mind!!! I absolutly loved the style that it was written in and the entire story was absolutly riveting. The way it talked about her meeting the boy, how she first got involved with the drugs, how she reacted to the drugs, how she feel into the " bad crowd" back home. The entire thing kept me on the egde on my seat and it was like every line pulled at my heart. I nearly wanted to cry at the end when she says that the monster never really leaves you. I have seen first hand experiancs of my friends being in her situation and it was kind of eye opening to see it from the other sides perspective. VERY GOOD!!!! I totally suggest it.
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A page-turner!
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4.0
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4.0
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Reader reviewed by bookworm9

While being held in prison as a suspect in a murder, Steve writes about his trial and his own feelings in screenplay and diary format. The contrast between the black-and-white, you-never-know-who's-lying courtroom scenes and Steve's own emotional yet guarded diary entries are intriguing, and even the reader is left wondering whether Steve is an innocent kid stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the "monster" that the prosecuter makes him out to be...or somewhere in between.
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