Monster [NOOK Book]


This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

Fade In: Interior: Early Morning In Cell Block D, Manhattan ...

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This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

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.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

1999 National Book Award nominee for Young People's Literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Cathy Young
FADE IN: Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon sits on the edge of a cot in Cell Block D of the Manhattan Detention Center. A dingy gray, early morning light filters in from the window and splashes his light brown face. Next to him, as the camera moves into focus, we see the suit he will wear to court. His trial starts today.

This is the beginning of "Monster!" -- a film written and directed by and also starring Steve Harmon. It's the "incredible story of how one guy's life was turned around by a few events, and how he might have to spend the rest of his life behind bars...told as it actually happened."

Cinema Vérité, you say? That's a term that Steve's film teacher might use to describe a film that "conveys realism." No, "Monster!" is even more real and frightening than that. This is the story of what happens when the world turns inside out for Steve Harmon, when the teen finds himself on trial for felony murder. In order to cope as the drama of his life unfolds, Steve blocks out the events and dialogue that swirl around him. He's the writer, the director, and the star of his own real-life horror story. And eerily, he has no idea how "Monster!" will end.

Neither do we.

What is certain is that Monster, Walter Dean Myers's new blockbuster novel, will captivate readers' imaginations from its opening pages until long after the last scene fades. In fact, Myers unravels Steve Harmon's story so masterfully, so sensitively, that very few readers will be able to set the book down without feeling as though their own lives have been changed somehow. Yes, Monster is that good.

Who are this novel's intended readers? More specifically, who should they be? Some consideration of these questions is necessary for this unusual book. Mature teens will devour Monster. Adults will too, and in fact will find the mixed screenplay/journal format refreshing and fast-paced, not kid-like at all. Frankly, though, I believe younger teens may be impacted most profoundly and positively by the story of Steve Harmon, who stumbles almost unknowingly into a nightmare that might keep him locked behind bars the rest of his life. However, these younger teen readers may need some guidance and support while reading Monster. It's a gritty tale. While Myers deals discreetly with the jail's lack of privacy open toilets and frequent invasions of privacy for example, sexual coercion between inmates, he doesn't obscure those realities. We watch Steve sit in that courtroom and sympathize with his stomach distress, which is not merely the result of nervousness over the outcome of the trial but worsened because he's not comfortable using the toilet in open sight of the other prisoners.

As he writes in his introductory note to readers, Walter Dean Myers, in writing Monster , hoped to show the steps that lead someone "from innocence to criminal acts and, eventually, to prison." The award-winning author spent months interviewing killers, drug pushers, prostitutes, and other criminals serving time in prison before he set pen to paper for Monster. These interviews revealed a common thread: "...that no one went from being completely innocent to living in jail in one dramatic step. There always seemed to be interim stages. Decisions to bend, not break, the law. Minor infractions...would lead to petty thefts. Petty thefts and fare-beating might lead to street-corner drug sales. Each experience...would give permission for the next experience. Eventually a line would be crossed..."

And that's where we find Steve Harmon: 16 years old and on trial for murder. His parents' hearts break as they watch the drama unfold from their seats in the back of the courtroom. Did Steve serve as the lookout when Bobo Evans and James King robbed the drugstore and then killed the store's owner in the commotion? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is he being framed by a couple of losers he used to call friends? In the tension-filled courtroom, reality begins to blur for Steve. How on earth did he get here? Is he a monster?

Walter Dean Myers's new novel will shock, disturb, awaken, and inspire.
Cathy Young Cathy Young is the founder of, which specializes in creating web sites for authors, illustrators, and publishers.

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon has been charged as an adult accomplice to murder. Steve resorts to his passion for filmmaking to put some order to and make some sense of his ordeal; his trial is presented as a movie. The reader feels his panic over the possibility of spending life in prison and his fears of being beaten and sexually abused there. The attorneys present their cases before the jury and the drama builds just as it would in a movie. Steve feels the surrealism of the stark reality he is facing. The reader is drawn into the trial, trying to determine, as is Steve himself, if he is the Monster that the prosecutor says he is, or a victim of circumstance. The film script concept works well on many levels. The illustrations, intermittently placed, present Steve in various ways: photos with his mother, on the drugstore surveillance camera, in a courtroom drawing, and in his mug shots. They give an added sense of reality to the narrative. This is a powerful, intense, thought-provoking story. It is great for discussions about the judicial system, pre-judging, self-perception, parent-child relationships and our prison system.
To quote KLIATT's Jan. 2001 review of the Listening Library/Random House audiobook edition of this title: Written by the central character, Steve Harmon, in the form of a screenplay for a movie, this ... follows the 16-year-old from the time he is arrested for felony murder through his trial. A drugstore owner in Harlem is killed as two men rob his store. Steve is accused of being the "lookout" for the robbers, all experienced criminals. He is implicated because of a deal the felons make to reduce their sentences in this crime. Steve, one of the "monsters" of the title, has a loving family and a caring, experienced lawyer.... Depictions of what jail offers younger accused these days are graphic, but accurate and honest... (winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature; a Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book; and a National Book Award Finalist.) KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, HarperTempest, 282p. 18cm. 98-40958., $6.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Jean Palmer; KLIATT , July 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 4)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-Walter Dean Myers' novel (HarperCollins, 1999) is brought to life by a full cast of actors in this excellent audio interpretation. The author opens this audiobook by discussing many of his interviews with young prison inmates and his desire to discover what drives them to a life of crime, what makes them become monsters in society. From the outset, listeners are caught up in Steve Harmon's life as he documents the events for the film script he is writing for his high school video club. Was Steve actually the lookout in a robbery gone awry in which a man was murdered, or was he simply at the wrong place at the wrong time? The suspense and tension remain high until the end when we are told whether the jury will find Steve guilty or innocent of the crime for which he is on trial. This auditory delight is presented in the clear, well-enunciated and articulated voices of a full cast of actors. The narrator, with his deep melodious voice, reads Steve's film directions and provides the quick scene shifts, guiding listeners through the story. His voice combined with the voices of the other actors, the strong plot, and the unusual story format grabs readers and holds their interest throughout. This interpretation could entice reluctant readers to become Myers' fans. Monster is a must purchase for all middle and high school libraries. English teachers should be encouraged to use this audiobook as a possible writing prompt or as an introduction to readers' theater.-Lynda N. Short, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, KY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Taylor-made for readers' theater, this book is a natural to get teens reading—and talking.
Horn Book Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
In a riveting novel from Myers (At Her Majesty's Request, 1999, etc.), a teenager who dreams of being a filmmaker writes the story of his trial for felony murder in the form of a movie script, with journal entries after each day's action. Steve is accused of being an accomplice in the robbery and murder of a drug store owner. As he goes through his trial, returning each night to a prison where most nights he can hear other inmates being beaten and raped, he reviews the events leading to this point in his life. Although Steve is eventually acquitted, Myers leaves it up to readers to decide for themselves on his protagonist's guilt or innocence. The format of this taut and moving drama forcefully regulates the pacing; breathless, edge-of-the-seat courtroom scenes written entirely in dialogue alternate with thoughtful, introspective journal entries that offer a sense of Steve's terror and confusion, and that deftly demonstrate Myers's point: the road from innocence to trouble is comprised of small, almost invisible steps, each involving an experience in which a "positive moral decision" was not made. (illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061975028
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 38,076
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • File size: 713 KB

Meet the Author

Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcom X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; New York Times bestseller Monster, the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.

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Read an Excerpt

Monster MSRChapter One

The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help. That way even if you sniffle a little they won't hear you. If anybody knows that you are crying, they'll start talking about it and soon it'll be your turn to get beat up when the lights go out.

There is a mirror over the steel sink in my cell. It's six inches high, and scratched with the names of some guys who were here before me. When I look into the small rectangle, I see a face looking back at me but I don't recognize it.

It doesn't look like me. I couldn't have changed that much in a few months. I wonder if I will look like myself when the trial is over.

This morning at breakfast a guy got hit in the face with a tray. Somebody said some little thing and somebody else got mad. There was blood all over the place.

When the guards came over, they made us line up against the wall. The guy who was hit they made sit at the table while they waited for another guard to bring them rubber gloves.

When the gloves came, the guards put them on, handcuffed the guy, and then took him to the dispensary. He was still bleeding pretty bad.

They say you get used to being in jail, but I don't see how. Every morning

I wake up and I am surprised to be here.

If your life outside was real, then everything in here is just the opposite. We sleep with strangers, wake up with strangers, and go to the bathroom in front of strangers. They're strangers but they still find reasons to hurt each other.

Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. It is a strange movie with no plot and nobeginning. The movie is in black and white, and grainy. Sometimes the camera moves in so close that you can't tell what is going on and you just listen to the sounds and guess.

I have seen movies of prisons but never one like this. This is not a movie about bars and locked doors. It is about being alone when you are not really alone and about being scared all the time.

I think to get used to this I will have to give up what I think is real and take up something else.

I wish I could make sense of it.

Maybe I could make my own movie. I could write it out and play it in my head. I could block out the scenes like we did in school. The film will be the story of my life.

No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll write it down in the notebook they let me keep. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me.

Monday, July 6th


FADE IN: INTERIOR: Early morning in CELL BLOCK D, MANHATTAN DETENTION CENTER. Camera goes slowly down grim, gray corridor. There are sounds of inmates yelling from cell to cell; much of it is obscene. Most of the voices are clearly Black or Hispanic. Camera stops and slowly turns toward a cell.

INTERIOR: CELL. Sixteen-year-old STEVE HARMON is sitting on the edge of a metal cot, head in hands. He is thin, brown skinned. On the cot next to him are the suit and tie he is to wear to court for the start of his trial.

CUT TO: ERNIE, another prisoner, sitting on john, pants down.

CUT TO: SUNSET, another prisoner, pulling on T-shirt.

CUT TO: STEVE pulling blanket over his head as screen goes dark.

Ain't no use putting the blanket over your head, man. You can't cut this out; this is reality. This is the real deal. VO continues with anonymous PRISONER explaining how the Detention Center is the real thing. As he does, words appear on the screen, just like the opening credits of the movie Star Wars, rolling from the bottom of the screen and shrinking until they are a blur on the top of the screen before rolling off into space.

The Story of My Miserable Life

Starring Steve Harmon

Produced by Steve Harmon

Directed by Steve Harmon

(Credits continue to roll.)

Yo, Harmon, you gonna eat something? Come on and get your breakfast, man. I'll take your eggs if you don't want them. You want them?
STEVE (subdued)
I'm not hungry.
His trial starts today. He up for the big one. I know how that feels.

CUT TO: INTERIOR: CORRECTIONS DEPT. VAN. Through the bars at the rear of the van, we see people going about the business of their lives in downtown New York. There are men collecting garbage, a female traffic officer motioning for a taxi to make a turn, students on the way to school. Few people notice the van as it makes its way from the DETENTION CENTER to the COURTHOUSE.

CUT TO: PRISONERS, handcuffed, coming from back of van. STEVE is carrying a notebook. He is dressed in the suit and tie we saw on the cot. He is seen only briefly as he is herded through the heavy doors of the courthouse.

FADE OUT as last prisoner from the van enters rear of courthouse.

FADE IN: INTERIOR COURTHOUSE. We are in a small room used for prisoner-lawyer interviews. A guard sits at a desk behind STEVE.

KATHY O'BRIEN, STEVE's lawyer, is petite, red-haired, and freckled. She is all business as she talks to STEVE.


Let me make sure you understand what's going on. Both you and this King character are on trial for felony murder. Felony murder is as serious as it gets. Sandra Petrocelli is the prosecutor, and she's good. They're pushing for the death penalty, which is really bad. The jury might think they're doing you a big favor by giving you life in prison. So you'd better take this trial very, very seriously.When you're in court, you sit there and you pay attention. You let the jury know that you think the case is as serious as they do. You don't turn and wave to any of your friends. It's all right to acknowledge your mother.I have to go and talk to the judge. The trial will begin in a few minutes. Is there anything you want to ask me before it starts?

You think we're going to win?
O'BRIEN (seriously)

It probably depends on what you mean by "win."

CUT TO: INTERIOR: HOLDING ROOM. We see STEVE sitting at one end of bench. Against the opposite wall, dressed in a sloppy-looking suit, is 23-year-old JAMES KING, the other man on trial. KING looks older than 23. He looks over at STEVE with a hard look and we see STEVE look away. Two GUARDS sit at a table away from the prisoners, who are handcuffed. The camera finds the GUARDS in a MEDIUM SHOT (MS). They have their breakfast in aluminum take-out trays that contain eggs, sausages, and potatoes. A Black female STENOGRAPHER pours coffee for herself and the GUARDS.


I hope this case lasts two weeks. I can sure use the money.

Six days'maybe seven. It's a motion case. They go through the motions; then they lock them up.
(Turns and looks off camera toward STEVE.)
Ain't that right, bright eyes?

CUT TO: STEVE, who is seated on a low bench. He is handcuffed to a U-bolt put in the bench for that purpose. STEVE looks away from the GUARD.

CUT TO: DOOR. It opens, and COURT CLERK looks in.


Two minutes!

CUT TO: GUARDS, who hurriedly finish breakfast. STENOGRAPHER takes machine into COURTROOM. They unshackle STEVE and take him toward door.

CUT TO: STEVE is made to sit down at one table. At another table we see KING and two attorneys. STEVE sits alone. A guard stands behind him. There are one or two spectators in the court. Then four more enter.

CLOSE-UP (CU) of STEVE HARMON. The fear is evident on his face.
MS: People are getting ready for the trial to begin. KATHY O'BRIEN sits next to STEVE.


How are you doing?

I'm scared.

Good; you should be. Anyway, just remember what we've been talking about. The judge is going to rule on a motion that King's lawyer made to suppress Cruz's testimony, and a few other things. Steve, let me tell you what my job is here. My job is to make sure the law works for you as well as against you, and to make you a human being in the eyes of the jury. Your job is to help me. Any questions you have, write them down and I'll try to answer them. What are you doing there?

I'm writing this whole thing down as a movie.

Whatever. Make sure you pay attention. Close attention.
Monster MSR. Copyright © by Walter Myers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

About This Guide:

In Monster, which won the first annual Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature, acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers weaves a tale that causes us to question what we know and believe about race, justice, and truth in American society today. The author was curious about what leads a person from innocence to committing criminal acts and, eventually, entering prison. He spent many months interviewing killers, robbers, prostitutes, and drug dealers, and that extensive research infuses Monster with a gritty realism that is at once riveting and frightening. Presented as a screenplay that the protagonist writes while on trial for felony murder, the story that unfolds in renching and provocative, and the reader is invited to draw his or her own conclusions about the events and participants surrounding a brutal crime.

The discussion questions presented here are intended to spark a spirited debate about the many moral and societal dilemmas depicted in this revolutionary novel.

About The Book:

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon can scarcely believe what has happened to him. Somehow he has ended up incarcerated in the Manhattan Juvenile Detention Center for his alleged role in the robbery of a neighborhood drugstore in which the owner of the store was killed. Now he's been charged with felony murder! As the trial begins, Steve feels that this can't possibly be his real life. Everything is suddenly out of control. To him, it seems as if he has "walked into the middle of a movie." Since he is a film student, he decides to tell his story in the form of a screenplay. Steve calls his filmMonster because that's how the prosecutor refers to him in court. But is he really a monster? And will we ever really know the truth?

Questions For Discussion:

  1. Is justice served in Steve's case? Based on the evidence, what was Steve's role during the robbery? Should he have been charged with, or convicted of, felony murder? How should the jury have voted?
  2. In the opening credits to his movie, Steve writes that this is "the incredible story of how one guy's life was turned around by a few events." When does Steve lose control of his own fate? What could he have done differently to avoid the situation he finds himself in?
  3. Steve also writes that the story is "told as it actually happened." Is that true? How does the fact that the story is told from Steve's point of view influence what the reader knows about the events surrounding the robbery?
  4. Steve imagines the defense attorney is looking at him and wondering "who the real Steve Harmon was." Who is the real Steve Harmon? Is he a "monster," as the prosecutor calls him? Why is it so important to Steve to have a better understanding of who he is?
  5. Reread the prisoners' debate on truth (pages 220-222). Who is right? What happens to truth in our legal system? Are people always encouraged to tell the truth? Are lawyers always most concerned with the truth? Are fact and nofact the same as truth and nontruth? How might the characters in Monster answer this question?
  6. After a visit from his mother, Steve says, "I knew she felt that I didn't do anything wrong. It was me who wasn't sure. It was me who lay on the cot wondering if I was fooling myself." Why does Steve begin to doubt himself?
  7. The book's characters are diverse in many ways, including race, background, and age. What makes the characters so realistic? How do they make the story and life in jail seem real? One of the prisoners, Acie, says, "All they can do is put me in jail. They can't touch my soul." What does he mean by this? Is he right?
  8. Which witnesses were sympathetic to Steve? Who is credible—the witnesses or Steve?
  9. Steve's defense attorney, O'Brien, tells him, "half of those jurors, no matter what they said when we questioned them when we picked the jury, believed you were guilty the moment they laid eyes on you. You're young, you're Black, and you're on trial. What else do they need to know?" What does this statement imply about the American justice system? Does it treat everyone fairly? Do you agree with O'Brien's assessment? Was race a major factor in the outcome of the trial? Why or why not?
  10. Petrocelli, the prosecuting attorney, maintains that "they are all equally guilty. The one who grabbed the cigarettes, the one who wrestled for the gun, the one who checked the place to see if the coast was clear." Is everyone equally guilty, or are there varying degrees of guilt? What are the degrees? Is Steve innocent or guilty?
  11. Is the screenplay format an effective way to tell the story? Why did the author choose to use this device? In film class Mr. Sawicki warns his students against making their films "too predictable" and also advises them to "keep it simple." Have Steve and, by extension, the author of the novel, achieved those goals? Why or why not?
  12. How does the art in the this book enhance the story? As Steve's movie begins, the credits look like those in Star Wars. What does this say about Steve?

About The Author:

Walter Dean Myers has been a prolific writer of children's and young adult literature for over thirty years. During his career he has received virtually every accolade his profession offers, including the Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, a Newbery Honor for Scorpions, numerous Coretta Scott King citations, and the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for his lifetime contribution to the field of children's literature.

Myers was raised in Harlem, where many of his books are set. Despite being a high school dropout, he earned a B.A. from Empire State College. Of his work, Myers says, "Ultimately, what I want to do with my writing is to make connections—to touch the lives of my characters and, through them, those of my readers." Walter Dean Myers lives with his wife, Constance, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 549 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 551 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    Monster - a riveting read!

    Monster by Walter Dean Myers is a fast - paced read, with a well developed plot. Steve Harmon is a black teen that is convicted of murder. But instead of sulking around in jail, he decides to write everything down that is happening in movie set - up. He also writes personal notes throughout the novel that help to progress the plot, and give added information to the reader. While reading Monster, you will feel as if you are right there with the characters through the good, and the bad times, for Myers did an excellent job of describing the setting, and the characters themselves. Contributing to this is the fact that the book is written in first person for all of the characters. Meaning that when different people speak, they use "I" and "me" and this is important because the reader can experience that characters thoughts and feelings for themselves. Myers also does a fabulous job of creating real, believable characters. Each character has a different personality, way of speaking, and way of acting. Also, the way each character speaks reflects their background. For example, when Bobo is being questioned, he uses improper grammar and says, "Me and King planned out a getover and we done it." (Myers p. 177). Finally, the problem is resolved in the story. But of course, I cannot tell you the resolution; you must read Monster by Walter Dean Myers for yourself and experience the thrill of it all.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2000

    This book is too cool!

    I am reading this book in school and I love it and we are only to page 43! I love it and everyone should read it.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008


    This was a part of an assignment I received for English class a few years ago, and I can remember just how much I despised this book. It is rather predictable and I found it to have a depressing setting. I don't recommend this book to people who prefer a quick-paced story of action, but instead to people who like to read about one continuous, drawn out conflict.

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    An Unforgettable Read!

    Monster is a on the edge of your seat fiction story, written by Walter Dean Myers. Monster is a very hard book to read. You really have to focus on what is going on, because the dialogue is exactly like a court room and make sure you know what's going on. The story setting is in a courtroom and in his cell. The major conflict is very hard to handle. Steve Harmon his nickname in the courtroom people call him Monster! Well Steve is on trial for murder. While in the courtroom he is writing a screenplay for everything that goes on. Steve has to deal with people thinking he is a murderer. He sits in the courtroom listening to people who did commit crimes lie. They are just trying to save themselves from jail by convincing the jury Steve is guilty. He knows he did not murder anyone. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some people did get up and say he was a nice, helpful young man. That helped the jury think about everything they heard in the case. The author put so much detail in this book it was like watching a movie. It's written as a screenplay and sometimes Steve adds little journal notes. When you read this book it's like watching law and order if you have ever seen it. It' intense and sometimes makes you cry. This book was amazing, but you have to be ready to read hardcore lines. If you are young I would not recommend it for you. Teens would be able to enjoy this and understand what is going on. This an amazing book and I hope a persuaded you to read it!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Best book I've ever read

    This book is amazing.I would recommend it to everyone.This book shows a lot of strength.When you read you realize that things in this bok are all around you everyday.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Itz awesome :D

    It tells an amazing story and shows you watt its like in jail

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I read this book in a matter of three days. I couldnt stop reading it once i got started! Even though it is chllenging at times, once you reread tricky parts it all comes together. I thought the book was great.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    This book was SWEET Yo!!!!! :)

    Summary of Monster;)
    By: Jennifer Flack

    My story is about a boy who committed a crime. There was a boy or guy named Steve, Steve has a perfect life, he has a mom who cares and a family who cares also. He normally never gets bored, but this specific day he got way to bored and he invited over his bud King. So King and he didn't have any money for nothing so they decide to go and rob a store. But the robbery didn't go as smooth as they expected it, the man behind the cash register had a gun that they dint know about. So the guy behind the cash register pulled it out and King took it out of his hand and panicked. Then he pulled the trigger to the gun, and down the guy went so they got away with the money, but they dint get away with the crime. Now they are spending life in prison.

    I did wonder off when I was reading the story, because I wanted to wonder and see what it would be like in the real world of robbing a store. I didnt really like it so, no one has to worry about me robbing a store. My brother would really enjoy reading it, because he has broken into some ones house before and gotten twenty-four days in federal prison. So maybe he would learn a lesson reading this book.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Monster Review

    Monster starts of as a notebook/journal reading that reveals that the rest of the book will be the recording of Steve Harmon's (our main charater) trial in a mixture of journal entries and screenplay form. This mixture proves to be successful throughout the book because you can see what's going on in the trial in the screenplay format (written by the main character himself), then see how he feels about it through his entries. Walter Dean Myers always tries to reach out to young adults and does it succesfully through all his writings because of the realism of it all and most importantly who young adults truly feel in these situations. In Monster, you realize how scarred and alone an adolesent feels in a situation where he can spend the rest of his life in jail. Myers is wonderful human being for trying to warn our children about the choices they make, and not only warns them, but shows them often the consequences and fears that may come with them.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012


    This book is about a boy named steve. Steve is 16 and is on trial for felony murder. He is not giving in, he knows he didn't do it. Steve has to wait in jail during his long trial until he gets a verdict. This whole time he is writing a movie about his experience.

    I liked the format of this book and i liked how he was writing a movie of his experience. This book does a good job explaining the court system and how it works.

    I would recommend this book to lovers of the court system, people who like crime books, and young adults everywhere

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012


    This book was good kind of confusing because of the way its written but I love it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Awesome book!

    One of my all time favorite books!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Monster by Walter Dean Myers

    Monster is a book that is about a 16 year old named Steve Harmon who is in jail because of a murder that took place at a drug store. He was the outsider who was watching as two others were robbing the store and killed the owner when the owner got out his gun. They then stole cigarettes and cash and took off. Other people got involved in the crime by witnessing it and getting cigarettes from the alleged killers. Steve on the other hand, only stood outside on lookout after scoping the store out at the beginning. <BR/>The story is created by Steve himself writing a journal of his awful experiences in the jail and then creating a movie script about the whole case and his life as he knows it. He begins to take movies of himself in order to find himself. <BR/>The neat thing about this book though is that the reader gets all of the evidence provided to him/her so the decision of innocence is left in the reader's hands. It is very well written to allow the reader to step back and examine what morally is the right or wrong verdict in this case. Should he or shouldn't he be put in jail? The ending does have a set decision but it is all up to the reader to decide which is what Steve is trying to prove by creating a movie about it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    interesting, but hard to understand

    I thought this book was really interesting. I had never read about a trial before, so I thought this was hard to understand. This book helps you make connections between what you see on the news and real people. I would not suggest this book if you do not like reading about serious, controversial things.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Minus stars

    Between all the plot spoilers, many of which told the ending, and the kids here playing kitty kat games its hard to get a simple review. Please bn. Put a stop to these ppl who reveal the entire plot line in their so called reviews and these blamed kids using the book review site as a xhat room and a role playing site. There are othere places for these kids to go play.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Wats up

    People these days gay

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012


    Britt as much as i wanna help u.... i cant bc ur gonna fuq him nomatter what i tell u.... just do me a favor and at least make sure he uses a condom

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    Great quick read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011


    I thought it was exactly what kids like me love to read and it was very meaningful and emotional.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book stinks!

    Monster is an absolutely horrible book! Walter Dean Myers repeats the same thing over and over again. It is about a young man named Steve who gets involved in a drugstore robbery which he doesn't recall being a part of. As he is in jail he is writing as movie about what is going on. The only places that the story's setting is on is his jail cell and the courtroom. It's a court case that just drags on and on.
    He gets up to the stand and cannot remember anything that happened. The other men that were involved in the robbery accused of him of being the watch out and signaling when the coast was clear. The store owner ended up getting shot and killed so the charges are very high and he could be put in jail for pretty much his entire life. Even in the courtroom he writes his little movie and nobody can understand what he is doing. You might be sentenced to life and you're writing a book about it. How stupid is that?
    You never find out what really happened because the main character can't remember anything and the other people that were in the store at the time all have different opinions. They also talk like idiots so its sometimes hard to understand what they are saying. I wish he would have started the story when all of this took place instead all of it being in the courtroom. I do not recommend reading this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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