MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers

Take a tour with me through this great book!

Student Review

Monster by Walter Dean Myers is a realistic fiction book about the struggles of a teenage boy. He is in jail for felony murder. He is accused of being the lookout for a crime where a store owner was killed. The book tells about the main character, Steve, being in jail and also the trial that takes place. It is also about the struggles in Steve’s mind. On page 4 the Steve journals, “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.” He feels that people look at him as if he is a monster. He questions if he is a monster or not.

I really like the main character, Steve. His struggles are common to many young people today. He wants to be tough and the friends that he hangs around with are tough but he still wants to be a good kid. The book keeps you guessing if Steve did the crime and also if he will go to jail because of it. Steve also was black. The book has you wondering if because he is black that he will be guilty. One of the best quotes that make you think is on page 79, “You’re young, you’re Black, and you’re on trial. What else do they need to know?”

It is difficult to keep all the different parts of the book in order. Steve writes in a journal and that is in one type of print. The real life of Steve both in jail and in the courtroom is another way that the author lets us get to know Steve. Steve also is making a film in his mind. This is difficult to keep straight. The type is now bold with directions that a director would say. This is through the whole book. An example of this is on page 15, “CLOSE-UP (CU) of STEVE HARMON. The fear is evident on his face.”

I would first recommend this book to be read by all middle and high school students. It is a story of how wrong something could go. It also brings up to be careful of who you hang out with or who you want to hang out with. Steve hangs out with the others that committed the crime. Steve wanted to be tough like them. This book would make students wonder if they would do something just to hang out with certain people.

I would recommend this book to my family. Steve’s mom is so worried about him and that is how my mom would be. Steve’s dad cried which is something that Steve had never seen before. On page 115 Steve writes, “I had never seen my father cry before.” I would also recommend this book to my brother. Even though Ryan is careful who he hangs out with, it is better to remind him that how we chose our friends is important. This book also showed how Steve loved his brother Jerry and that is similar to my brother and me.

This book would be good for anyone that likes realistic fiction or court dramas. This book make you feel like you were there with Steve. It showed him as a real person and how Steve really felt, but I wish that it would have shown more of what he did that day. I would recommend this book and I would give it 4 stars out of 5.

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