Book Review – Monster

Walter Dean Myers is one of my favorite authors. Finally, I was able to read his award-winning book Monster. Monster is a novel that smashes together a narrative and a screenplay. The main character, Steve Harmon, is a teenage Black boy on trial for murder. Part of the book is pages from Steve’s journal, and the rest of the book is written as a screenplay. A movie script is how Steve sees the trial which is the main setting of the book.

At the beginning of the book Steve says:

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. Monster

As the story progresses, the reader is left to determine if Steve is guilty and if he really is a monster. Myers interviewed many kids in jail, and those interviews impacted how he wrote this book.

Although I did like the book, I believe some readers might not like the switching back and forth between Steve’s journal and the screenplay.

I found the book to be a quick read. Because the book is mostly written in a screenplay, I assert it is meant to be heard. Purchase the book and the audiobook. You won’t be sorry that you did.

Rating: 4/5

Suggested Grades9-12
Lexile670L
Guided Reading LevelZ
Accelerated Reader Level5.1

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