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The Monument

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  393 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches its people, animals and graveyard. Mick has been commissioned by Rocky's Kansas town to create a memorial to their war dead.

As Rocky learns to respect Mick and his talents, he helps her to develop her own artistic sensibilities.It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 1st 1993 by Yearling (first published October 1st 1991)
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The Monument by Gary Paulsen (1991): Rocky (Rachael) is an adopted girl living in a small town in Kansas when an artist is commissioned to create a monument to the town’s fallen soldiers. But the effect that the artist has on the town--and on Rocky--may change things forever.

The story of Rocky, of Python, and of their life in Bolton is well-told and interesting enough on its own, but with the arrival of artist Mick Strum, the book begins to concern itself with no less than the question of what i
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Simple, beautiful writing. I tend to seek out flashy fiction -- thrillers, high-concept, even magical realism. Yet what moves me most time and again are small, straightforward stories that quietly get at the feeling of an idea. The Monument is that kind of story. Honest and hopeful without being sentimental or cloying. Simple, beautiful writing.
Brooklynn Marshall
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: engl-420
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Wilcox
This was much better than I expected. It's very short, the only other Paulsen book I've read is "Hatchet," and I was distracted by the word "sex" because I was considering this for my middle school students. My worries were ill-founded, though. I loved the sophisticated conversations about art, the snippets of small-town rural life (reminded me of "To Kill a Mockingbird"), and Rocky's commentary. This might work for my students yet!
Kylie Renee
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. I love the way that Rachael is inspired by Mick to be an artist and I love the whole plot of the book. This is yet another book that Gary Paulson has blown me away with!
Gaven Wood
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-13-25
This book follows the life of Rachel. However, she prefers to go by the name Rocky. She is an orphan with a limp that finally gets adopted. After being adopted she moves to a small town of farmers where she helps her new dad at his job. The town wants a monument in order to honor those who had died serving our country. They hire a man by the name of Mick, who is an artist, to work on creating a monument for the town. Rocky begins following him around as he draws different things he see's. What R ...more
Evan Bauman
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book called “The Monument” rewritten by Gary Paulsen is about a little girl that came from the orphanage house, and is trying to make her town better. When she was little her leg had a condition with it that she couldn’t bend it, this made people not want to take her up for adoption. One day she had this couple that picked her out of everyone and she ended up going to a really good home. After getting/finding the dog she called “Piper” which became her best friend, she became curious on beco ...more
Michelle Llewellyn
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it
When I was twelve, living in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1987 our outstanding sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, read Dogsong and Foxman aloud to the class in order to prepare us for a visit from the actual author to our school. I would've preferred Beverly Cleary at the time but I still remember the impressions I came away with after listening to the stories of Gary Paulsen.
Flash forward to the year 2000 where I was introduced to this heartwarming book in a college class for elementary education maj
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it

Gary Paulsen was my first favorite author. After my fifth grade English teacher read us "Hatchet" and "The Winter Room," I wanted to read more of his books. Two years later I was into Edgar Alan Poe and two years after that I was reading Vikram Seth, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Burgess, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and many others on my own.

"The Monument" was my favorite Paulsen book, and I just finished rereading it. It tells the story of an encounter between a disabled thirteen-year-old girl living i
Oct 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jacky by: wendy s
Shelves: 2008, tween
I surveyed the teachers in my building asking for book recommendations; as a result, an art teacher lent me this book.

This was an incredibly fast read for me. While short and written in simple language, did not lack for depth. I really enjoyed Paulsen's descriptions of the artist working and his art. I enjoy art in general, but don't often think about what goes into the artist's vision. This book explored that, and I enjoyed thinking about a topic I hadn't spent much time thinking about before.
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
A small town is forced to look at themselves differently when an artist comes to town to create a monument to their war dead for them. Although the artist seems somewhat unstable mentally and is nursing a severe hangover when we first meet him asleep in an awkward position in his car (the main character wonders whether he is a pervert), he has done his homework on the town and its inhabitants. When it comes time for him to share his sketches for the monument, he shows them something instead that ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth
The Monument is like a beautiful, powerful shot. (Not that I have ever drank shots.) It left me a little dazed, a little buzzed, but happy and touched and warm and feeling enlightened. Is that too dramatic? Maybe. But honestly, it is a short book written with force, Mick and Rocky leap out with such startlingly unique but real voices that I immediately felt like I knew them. Mick is a bit of a nutter, but he brings with him the wondrous oddities of art, first to Rocky and then to the entire comm ...more
Irene McHugh
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
An amazing book about an adopted outcast of a girl, her four-legged friend, and her remarkable friendship with an artist. Rachel learns many lessons about what it means to live life in the moment from Mick, an artist brought to her small town in Kansas to create a monument for the town's war heroes. If you're a fan of Gary Paulsen's and know a few basic biographical facts about him, you know how his experiences shape his writing. Most people hear his stories about fishing and camping when he was ...more
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420
Category: Gary Paulsen

This story tells about Rocky, an adopted orphan with a bad leg. She lives in a tiny town in Kansas and her life is uninterrupted until the town decides it wants a monument to commemorate its war heroes. Enter Mick, the artist commissioned for the monument. Mick helps Rocky learn about art--what it is and how to find it. Because of Mick, the whole town learns to see itself in a new way.

I felt like this book was meant for younger YA readers. I'd say the age group is about 11-
I liked this book because it had something to do with art, and i like doing art like sketching. I also liked it because it had different things going on right after each other but they each had a little part of them connecting them together. For example she finds a dog and keeps it and everybody gets to know how she is always with the dog. Because she is doing that and everybody knows the dog is always with her everybody in the town knows that and looks up to them for being so close they come up ...more
Aubrey McKay
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 13-25
Drinking warning. This book was a strange mix of perplexing and thought-provoking moments broken by the atypical mind of our preteen narrator. She faces life with a bum leg and quiet honor that is admirable to consider, when we think of today's entitled youth. She and her dog, Python, face the largest decision her simple farming town has had to make in her memory.

This book was something that I could see a quiet girl reading, but I was unable to mesh well with the characters - any of them. Every
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, young-adult
To get ready for Gary Paulsen visiting Battle Creek, I read his book about art. It's a simple and true story — not true story as in this actually happened, but true in that it puts vague feelings clearly into words.

Folks in a small Kansas town hire an artist to create a monument for those who died in war. Rocky is a girl with a lame leg, a dog for a best friend and parents who are a couple of goodnatured drunks. She is amazed at the way the artist is able to see things the way they really are,
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was okay. It's a good read for middle level kids, to get them thinking about art and also about the human cost of war. Paulsen certainly chose to give the small town he created some negative qualities, and I almost thought some of it was a little mature for the audience level. I guess there wasn't anything too awful. I'm not much for the really new-agey kind of musings on art, but it made some good points about people and about war. I'd sort of like to find out what happened to the mai ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
About this book i felt that this was to tell us about how it does not matter how you look like or how you are this was a very accurate book i recomend it to whoever is reading this right now this book is about a girl named rocky she is dark skin and has a leg brace and is waiting for someone to adopt her because she feels so lonely and sad at the same time
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paulsen
Was a little difficult at first to get into, but then I was captured by the story. Not to mention the concepts brought to light. Mike, Emma, Fred, Rocky and the person name Tru, as well a Python the young lady's dog, create a beautiful story all important in creating the town's(Bolton) living monument.
Megan Rich
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very influential book for me as a young reader. I was moved by many things-- the protagonist marginalized place in her small town and her attraction to an equally marginalized artist, and perhaps mostly, seeing how an artistic sensibility can effect a small farming town, not unlike the one in which I grew up.
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I read this book quite awhile ago, but it has stuck with me. It was a real good book. The book made me think about life and family and art in ways I never had before. The book was deep and thoughtful, and yet flowed. It was the kind of book to savor.

I set this as one of the top few children's novels that I have read.
Jun 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Aspiring Artists
It's just something about this book, or this author, that is intriguing me. Something deeper that makes me want to keep reading and reading everything that this guy has written. The Monument is not as good as The Crossing because it doesn't really get into the story until about halfway through, but I think this one fufills my need for a full story. Overall another good read.
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Paulsen sends a very strong message about art. He includes a great dog companion which those of us who know about his life know is straight from his heart. Despite being an easy read, some of the content is intended for a middle school reader.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
i found this story to be very engaging with an important message. I very much enjoyed the way Mr. Paulson developed his characters as well as the story itself. It'sgoing to the 'must read' list for my grandsons.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another great tale from Gary Paulsen. A short tale of girl and a town wanting a monument, and the artist that came to great it. Not a long read but memorable to anyone who as been touched by a 'monument' of someone who has died.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because I felt like I knew the characters and all the places were just so vivid, which hardly ever happens when I read a book. I enjoyed reading this book and need to read it again soon.
Feb 05, 2009 added it
Shelves: jar-fiction
Feb 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jessica by: me
Shelves: gave-up-on
The book really was not grabbing my attention and there was some content I disliked, so I decided to move on.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you have any interest in art at all, you should love this book. A completely easy, afternoon read.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
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