Monster by Walter Dean Myers – Book Review

This book review I (Jenn) wrote for a literature class in grad school. I wanted to share it with you all! Any comments and/or thoughts in response would be great!

Monster. By Walter Dean Myers. Amistad, 1999. 281p. ISBN9780064407311. $9.99

Steve Harmon hates prison. He decides to document his trial by writing a screenplay, creating a window into his own uncertainty about his innocence.


With its movie screenplay style, Monster treats the reader to the personal account of 17 year-old Steve Harmon and his trial. Readers hear directly from the characters – the accused, lawyers, family members, and witnesses – through dialogue and can judge the testimonies to determine who is and isn’t guilty. Interspersed throughout the script are journal pages of Steve’s thoughts and self-reflection. Though Steve did have some association with the robbery, was he a participant in felony murder? Does he deserve to go to jail for 25 years? This book leads to great discussion concerning human nature and the conscience. The style, text, and subject matter appeal to a teen audience. The story contributes to an ongoing discussion about human nature, its conscience and the frailty of the human spirit.


Copyright 2013 Jennifer Herring

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