Johanna's Reviews > Monster

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
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Apr 09, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: engl420
Read in April, 2012

***REQUIRED***
This multi-genre novel is the story of a high school student named Steve who is on trial for murder. Through a movie script, Steve gives the details of his trial extremely objectively. Through journal entries, Steve subjectively describes his fears for the future and the isolation that comes with being in jail. Steve (briefly) encounters the harsh reality of what it means to be a young black man in Harlem, reevaluates his definition of "role models," and what the real meaning of "truth" is.

I enjoyed the format of this novel, but I was disappointed that the novel took such an objective approach. I felt the author touched on important themes but didn't fully explore the themes of truth, race, and stereotypes. Another drawback of the novel was that I felt left out of the action and the ideas because I've never been in Harlem, I'm not black, and I'm not a teenage boy. I feel that this book would be a great read for black teenage males because it is a "reflection" book (not a "window" book in that it allows people to see into the life of someone from a different culture).
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