Book Reviews

Monster- Walter Dean Myers

Monster_(Walter_Dean_Myers_novel)_cover_art

 

Monster by Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon; a 16-year-old on trial for felony murder. One of the most powerful passages to me was on page 156: “They didn’t allow kids in the visiting area, which was funny. It was funny because if I wasn’t locked up, I wouldn’t be allowed to come into the visiting room.”

I borrowed this novel from one of the sixth grade language arts teachers from school, and she mentioned how much the students like the structure of the novel. It’s written from Steve’s POV and switches from diary excerpts to screen play. For me it was a bit distracting but I can understand how student’s would enjoy the structure – it reads quickly, is fast paced, and realistic. However, there were parts that I didn’t think were appropriate for middle school students. Overall, it was a powerful read but I would have liked to have gotten to know Steve more- there were snippets from his life here and there but I didn’t feel as attached as I would have liked.

“Maybe I can 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 in down in the notebook they let me keep. I’ll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. Monster.” (p. 4-5).

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