Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Monster (Monster #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  32,495 ratings  ·  2,966 reviews
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 Mo...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published December 14th 2004 by Amistad (first published April 21st 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Young Adult Books
232nd out of 9,789 books — 55,068 voters
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskySpeak by Laurie Halse AndersonLooking for Alaska by John Green
Best Teen Books About Real Problems
79th out of 1,608 books — 9,156 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
amended review, with spoilers:

are all teen books written in eye-catching, typographically unconventional ways?? or is it just this one reading list?? i have nothing really to say about this book, except that for a sixteen-year-old boy in jail, it might benefit him to adopt less girly handwriting. kids, stay out of jail. don't associate with criminals. don't lie about your involvement because any close reader will notice, and you will be screwed. and, really, less girly...

i have just returned fro...more
Nowhere in the book does the pointlessness of what has happened get mentioned. The basic plot is that right before Christmas a drugstore on Malcolm X Boulevard gets robbed. The owner pulls a gun, the gun gets turned on him and he dies. The thieves steal the money in the register and a few cartons of cigarettes, that one of the robbers then sells on the street for five bucks a carton. There are supposedly four people involved in this mastermind heist that I'm guessing nets about $230 (six cartons...more
Jul 08, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: ala
Monster is an interesting book in several ways.

First, it is written in the format of a movie screenplay interjected with the main character's - a 16-year old African-American boy Steve Harmon's - diary-like entries. I thought I would not like this format, I do not read many plays, but it turned out to be quite the opposite - the format made the story much more dynamic. Steve is on trial for murder (he is accused of being a lookout during a robbery resulting in the death of the store owner), ther...more
Lauren Fidler
here there be spoilers. just sayin'.

So, i lobbied to add this book to my curriculum for 10th grade low levels next year. it's a quick read (although i suspect much less so for them) but it actually presents some very interesting ideas about identity, racism, guilt/innocence, and justice. the kids will all fixate on whether or not they think steve is guilty, which is sort of the crux of the action (he's on trial, suspected of being a "lookout" for a botcohed robbery of a convenience store where o...more
Brenda Morris
Aug 03, 2007 Brenda Morris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: booksiteach
This is my most recent reading of a book I've already taught two or three times in ninth grade English classes. This is a great book for people who don't necessarily enjoy reading. The movie script format means the action moves quickly and may make it more appealing to people who enjoy movies a lot. Myers doesn't give too much away about the story either, which both builds suspense and leaves the reader with something to think about and to talk about. The 16 year old protagonist who is on trial...more
Monster HarperCollins Publishers, 2001, 281 pp., $8.99
Walter Dean Myers ISBN-13: 9780064407311

Did you ever wonder what happens after a person gets arrested? Well, I have always wondered what happen to the people that walk to a police precinct with handcuffs. What happen to the people that get sentenced to jail for life. Can a person come out and restore their lives again? How can people get back on their feet? Well, Steve Harmon did. Steve Harmon is a 16 year old African American boy, which is...more
I loved this book. The cover grabbed me right away. I love the way the book was written. I think it is perfect for struggling readers. The text is larger than most young adult novels with larger spacing between the texts. It is written like a movie script which is less intimidating than heavy, descriptive text. I know several of my students from last year (6th graders) would respond to this book. This book made me self-reflect on how I viewed these students in my class. The end of the book was e...more
Monster by Walter Dean Myers is a criminal book. I know many people have read this book. for those who haven't read it, it is about a young African American teenager who gets blamed for a crime. A lesson i learned from this book is "Never believe in anyone who seems to be loyal." this leeson means that in any case you really think a person is loyal and is a good friend to you, and who u trust, don't happen to have much trust in them because u know know what they're like until the end.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for

Sixteen-year-old Steve is on trial for murder. But he's having trouble understanding why. "What did I do? I walked into a drugstore to look for some mints, and then I walked out. What was wrong with that? I didn't kill Mr. Nesbitt"(p. 140). Nothing is wrong with that, of course--unless the purpose of that casual trip was to give the "all clear" for a robbery that ended in the murder of the store's owner. Then, something is very wrong.

By structu...more
The book has a unique format; it is written as a movie script. This format gives the reader more blatant clues about setting, and vocal cues (such as subdued, whispering, and showing anger) than would a traditionally formatted novel. There are also variations made in typeface and font that give other cues to the reader. I’m not entirely positive this was all necessary though. The plot is incredibly intense, and a first person narration might have been just as sufficient in telling this story. Ho...more
A 14-year-old black teenager is on trial for his life. He's been accused of being complicit in the murder of a store owner during a robbery.

We see all things through Steve Harmon's perspective. He decides to make a movie about his trial, so we read the trial as a script for a movie. We also get to see his journal notes that are spread throughout.

The title and thus the book, including our protagonist Steve want us to think about what constitutes a real monster. Is he one? Is he innocent? Is he st...more
Matthew Hall
The book that im reading is called monster and the author is Walter dean Myers it's a realistic fiction. The book includes real events that happen in everyday life or in the ghetto. It has a lesson that its goes like you get in trouble cause your in a wrong place at wrong time or you hang with the bad people and there at the somewhere at the wrong time.

The book monster has a three main chacters and they play a big part. Those chacter in there is Steve who is the victim but also imamate he stands...more
Jacqueline Quinn
I love this book for so many reasons. The main character, Steven, is clearly a smart, intelligible sixteen-year-old. He is a student at Stuyvesant High School, one of the best public schools in the country and New York City (and admission based on an exam). His parents are caring --his father is a Morehouse alum. Yet--he is still a sixteen-year-old, searching for self identity and expression. He is loved yet faces challenges every day in his neighborhood and the individuals he is acquainted with...more
I was a little bit hesitant to read this book but had heard great things about it from after attending a reading/writing institute which focused on young adult literature. I didn't know until after I purchased it that it was written in play script. I don't normally enjoy reading books written in this format, but this book wouldn't have been the same without it! For sure it added serious intensity and drama which fits the theme of the book. This is a book that I am considering teaching to my 8th...more
Monster is a first person court drama about Steve Harmon, a 16 year old (black) kid that was supposedly involved in the murder of an old shop owner. A promising, if not slightly overused premise, so what could go wrong with it? Let's find out.
What characters? Steve Harmon is really the only character in the book. Yes, there are many side characters, but I say side instead of supporting characters for a reason; they get little to no development over the course of the book. And, sadly,...more
This guy should not write the book in movie script format. It is WAYYYYY too complicated. He should also not write it in green font (good thing he didn't).
Gilmar Hidalgo
The book "Monster" is about a young teenager named Steve Harmon who was in a accused trial that he has to fight for the truth. Furthermore, it gives you a experience of what trial is about. Moreover, it can happen to you because you are in the wrong place in the wrong time.

I would highly recommend this book because it really gets your attention. Just how the story is told is unreal but real at the same time. I like how every 10-20 pages starts a new day for the trial. I would highly recommend it...more
This YA book is in screenplay format, so it took a little bit for me to get into reading it that way, but I really enjoyed it. It's an interesting perspective to read about -- that is, the non-white kid who gets tangled up in a crime without ever really doing much of anything or even making a deliberate decision to be involved. But even the prisoners in the book who had more involvement in a crime tried to explain away their responsibility and come up with a reason why it wasn't really their fau...more
Excellent book with a unique format, alternating between a movie script and journal entries written by the main character, Steve. Insights into the justice system and laws were interesting. I guess I didn't know that anybody with any involvement in a crime is considered guilty of everything that happens during that crime. In this case, Steve, a teenage boy who allegedly acted as lookout for a burglary is charged with the murder of the victim, even though he wasn't even in the store at the time i...more
Emily, a Book and a Cat
Concept/Ideas: 5/5
Storyline/Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Let's start out by saying that this book was a read I'm having to do in English. I would never have picked up this book, and I haven't heard of it. We started reading it in class last week, and I couldn't stop. I completely finished it way, way early and ahead of time.

The writing style is amazing first of all. I love that the book was written in a screenplay point of view. Different and fresh. I liked...more
I would rank this book MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers, very highly. I would rank it high because, it keeps you on the edge of your seat through the whole book. Also because it went in depth on how his trial went on, and what happens in a trial. Another reason is because I thought it was a nonfiction book when really it was fiction.

The best part of the book is when he is on trial and he got call a “MONSTER” and he writes it on a piece of paper over and over again. Then Miss O’Brien crossed out all...more
Dec 22, 2008 Charles rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: q1
Monster Book Review

This excellent book Monster, written by Walter Dean Myers is about a 16 yeard old boy from Harlem, Steve Harmon. Steve was hanging out with his bad news friends and they decided to rob a nearby drugstore. During the robbery the store owner was shot and killed. Steve was arrested at the crime scene for being the one who killed the store owner.
"Are we going to win?" This is what Steve was asking his lawyer after being arrested at the crime scene. Was it really Steve Harmon who...more
Jennifer Conner
"The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help." This is a line from Steve Harmon's journel during his stay in prison. "Monster" is the story of young Steve Harmon's experience in jail and in the courtroom. Steve is on trial for being an accessory to a robbery/murder. In this book, the reader gains Steve's firsthand experience in a prison cell. During his stay in prison, Steve begins writing a film script about the trial. The book...more
"Monster" tells the story of 16-year old Steve Harmon, a black youth living in Harlem, New York. Steve is in the middle of the trial of his life, literally. He has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a shop owner in a robbery gone bad. Steve cannot cope with life inside the detention center, so he begins to chronicle his trial into a screenplay. Steve will have to deal with reality, not a movie script to determine his fate. Will Steve be found innocent or guilty?
This book is...more
Monster utilized a unique storytelling style and an intriguing plot. Steve Harmon is a 16 year-old black man on trial for accesory to murder. He is implicated in a robbery gone bad and a man is left dead. The story is told from Steve's point of view via a screenplay that Steve is writing to tell about his incarceration and trial. The story ends with the audience wondering. Did Steve Harmon participate in the botched robbery or was he truly innocent? Was he involved in the crime and how much blam...more
This book is formatted in a very interesting way. It is about Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old black boy who is on trial for murder. He has been accused of assisting in the robbery of a convenience store that ended in murder. The setting alternated between the prison and the courtroom. Steve is terrified of prison and of all the hard men around him. He is afraid of being beaten or sexually assaulted.

He deals with his fear by writing a movie script out of his experience. If he sees it as a film, he d...more
Monster is written partially as a screenplay and partially from the point of view of Steven Harmon, a sixteen-year-old African American boy who is in jail and on trail for murder. Steve's journal entries, written from his prison cell, reveal a boy who is really still a child, scared to death and longing for his family, school, and his film club. During his free time he works on a screenplay of the trial, so the entire book talks about camera angles and is written in dialogue. This makes for a ve...more
Melissa Wehunt
So, this is another of those books that teens love, librarians recommend, and everyone gets all excited about when they talk about it....but I just don't see it. I have a hypothesis that adults are afraid to say they don't like books that win awards. But this is my second in a as many weeks that I've read, that is nominated for or has won awards that I thought was pretty mediocre. But, that may just be me. So, here we go:

1. Boy book. Boy seem to luuuuv this book. And I guess I get it. I ge...more
"Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. It is a strange movie with no plot and no beginning. 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."

Sixteen-year old Stev...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Class of 2014: book review 2 7 Mar 27, 2014 04:40PM  
2nd Period Langua...: Jalen Book 2 1 6 Feb 24, 2014 04:09PM  
UNC Children's Li...: Discussion Prompt for Monster 14 17 Feb 05, 2014 09:53AM  
Justice 1 10 Jan 19, 2014 05:03PM  
  • The First Part Last (Heaven, #2)
  • A Step from Heaven
  • Bronx Masquerade
  • True Believer (Make Lemonade, #2)
  • Miracle's Boys
  • Keesha's House
  • A Wreath for Emmett Till
  • Hole in My Life
  • Many Stones
  • Day of Tears
  • The Skin I'm In
  • Mexican WhiteBoy
  • Whale Talk
  • Tyrell
  • Postcards from No Man's Land
  • Stuck in Neutral
  • Inexcusable
  • Kit's Wilderness
Stacie Williams
Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi...more
More about Walter Dean Myers...
Fallen Angels Slam! Sunrise Over Fallujah Shooter Scorpions

Share This Book

“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 who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER.” 18 likes
“The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.” 12 likes
More quotes…