Kelly Herta's Reviews > Monster

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
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's review
Oct 26, 2011

really liked it
Read in October, 2011

This is the story of a young black teenager, Steve Harmon, who has been implicated in the robbery/murder of a store owner. Steve says he just went in the store for mints, but the other people on trial say he was their lookout, whose job was to signal that the coast was clear for them to go in and rob the store. He is truly scared and on trial for his life. He has a public defender who he is not sure believes him. The prosecutor called him a monster. During the day, he sits in the courtroom, and listens to other people give testimony. At night he wonders how it all happened. Steve is to go on the stand to testify on his own behalf, but he has been coached well by his attorney and comes off as truthful. The jury is sent out to deliberate and he and his lawyer wonder about appeals. The jury when they come back, Steve is found not guilty. Steve turns to give his lawyer a hug and she stiffens and turns away. He wonders why? What did he do that made her turn away?

I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the main character writes a screenplay of his version of the trial. It should be an eyeopening experience for those who are not familiar with the working of the justice system, especially from the POV of a 16 year old. I checked out our school's copy of this book and gave it to our UMOJA man. He is the guy who tries to encourage the young black boys of our school to behave and always do the right things. He was going to read it and then recommend it to his boys.

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