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(Monster #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  65,049 ratings  ·  5,983 reviews
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.

Fade In: Interior Court. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve.

Paperback, 281 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Amistad (first published April 21st 1999)
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Betty Trevino I believe the reason O'Brien looks away from him is because she is recognizing the difference between "innocence" and being found "not guilty." The fo…moreI believe the reason O'Brien looks away from him is because she is recognizing the difference between "innocence" and being found "not guilty." The former is about lacking culpability and the other is about the justice system not having enough evidence to convict. Steve himself recognizes his own progression from believing he is innocent for not having done his part in the caper and understanding that he is complicit in events that lead to the death of an innocent man. O'Brien has dutifully performed her job under the law but both she and Steve's father recognize that he proved himself capable of being a part of something very ugly. (less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“My job is to make sure the law works for you as well as against you, and to make you a human being in the eyes of the jury. Your job is to help me.”

You may recall several months ago a horrific tragedy befell my family – I LOST MY KINDLE IN MY OWN HOUSE!!!! I did what any sane reader would do and immediately went into meltdown mode and demanded the okay to order a new one (which was promptly given to me because I = psychopath and
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Walter Dean Myers (RIP!) was one of the most prolific and successful children's and YA authors ever, but this book, that I have taught many times and is a staple especially in urban schools, may be his best known, in print since it came out in 1999. I read it again in a Growing Up course recently, and some students also read Bad Boy, his memoir, but some students instead/also read the graphic adaptation of the book, which I will review in a minute. The story involves a (black) teenager who is in ...more
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Brenda Morris
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
L.E. 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
Okay so I have a lot to say about this one. I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The format was really hard to get into and then on top of that I truly believe that the narrator was unreliable. There were things that he stated in his personal journal that didn't line up with his testimony which almost made me feel like something about the situation wasn't completely right. I just wanted more from the novel and I'm not sure if it was the authors intention to keep everything so v ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
3.5 Stars
“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.”
Monster is a powerful story about perception and expectations. And the audiobook is definitely the way to go with reading this book. There’s a full cast of narrators which really adds to the screenplay format of the story. It’s so easy to follow
Liz Janet
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't know what to believe about this story, I don't. I am still trying to figure out if it is a good or bad thing.

This book is told through diary entries and as a screenplay by the main character. Yes, it is not the conventional way of doing things, but I thought it a beautiful way to tell the story, even though everything this man writes is gold. This helped, as questions relating to race, dehumanization, relative or subjective nature of the truth and identity began to rise within me (also,
Alissa Patrick
3.5 stars
I chose this book for my Children's Book Challenge- I have never heard of it before, but it has won several awards, including one of the Best Books of the Year in 1999 and was a NYTimes bestseller.

This is the story of Steve Harmon, a 16 year old black male who is on trial for a botched robbery/murder. I listened to the audiobook in one sitting; I was so riveted. The flow of the novel was so different, bc Steve is telling the story himself as a movie, and it would appear the text is p
Miss Nuding
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is AWESOME! I highly recommend this book to people who struggle getting through books. It is a quick read, but a necessary one!
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can’t kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment.”

Monster is a few different things. Most noticeably, it's a page-turner written in the unique form of a movie script. But it also analyzes the main character and his choices of morality.

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon was convicted of being an accomplice in a murder and robbery. Terrified he's going to end up in prison for life or get sentenced to d
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Filme na Netflix

"Boy, man, human... monster. That feels great.
What do you see when you look at me?"
Jan 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
Learned about it from this article about a book club for black boys. ...more
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
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
The novel begins with a teenager who wishes to be a filmmaker writing the story of his trial for felony murder in the form of a movie script. He has journal entries after each day's action. The young filmmaker is accused of being an accomplice in the murder of a drug store owner. As he goes through his trial, he returns each night to a prison where he hears other inmates being beaten and raped. He reviews all these events leading up to his life right now. Though Steve is eventually acquitted, Wa ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reads-of-2016
"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."

Actual rating 2.5

Monster is a hard book to review. While reading it, I could definitely see the appeal and why so many people loved it as much as they did. It's well written, the format is fascinating, and the storyline is the opposite of dull.

I can
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Skip by: Jennifer S
Shelves: award-winners
16-year old Steve Harmon is on trial as the lookout man in a Harlem convenience store robbery gone wrong, and the manager is killed with his own gun. The story is told in a unorthodox manner, switching between entries in Steve's diary and an imagined screenplay. Portrayed as a monster, the reader is left to determine his guilt or innocence as a number of troubled youth/criminals testify against Steve. His own worries and thoughts are intertwined as the court case comes to its conclusion. ...more
Stephen M
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
All the interesting elements within the book are rehashed in the lawyer's closing statements. In it, we're forced to go through every plot point in the book -- except that during these lawyer soliloquies all the events in the book have been condensed into a few sentences. That renders the entire book pointless. This alone could have been a successful short story if Myers had published just that section of the book. King be damned! Cut out the unnecessary; leave the essential! Have we learned any ...more
Jessica (The Awkward Book Blogger)

This book was okay.

The format was really weird and kind of hard to follow, but the story was okay.

Would I have picked up this book without being forced to? No. Was I forced to read this book by my English teacher? Yes.

If you like books about trials over a murder crime then you'll like this book.
If you like books that have a weird format, you'll also like this book. (Good luck trying to follow the story, though)
If you like books that repeat the same thing over and over again until you basica
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 i
My son liked this book, mostly because he liked reading it as movie script. It is a visual story and works well in this format. I liked it because it is a young readers' title with an unreliable narrator. Most youth books don't take this risk, and it gives the reader a little more trust and responsibility in figuring what is really going on. Still, the story seemed simplified, both to fit the movie script format and also possibly not to overwhelm the reader. This would be a good title for a youn ...more
Dylan Tsao
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-comfort
I loved this book, it was fast and easy to read. I loved the way how the book was written which was like a movie script and a journal. This was really interesting to me as this was the first book that I have ever read in this format. I highly recommend this book to someone who is looking for a quick book that they can rush through. As you can tell, I started this book on the bus, read 45 pages then continued when I got home. In total this book took me about 3 hrs to finish. Even though the book ...more
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.

Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
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
Alexa Feldman
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it

•Monster by Walter Dean Meyers
•The main character Steve Harmon is a 16 year old black man who was arrested for being the lookout in a robbery that turned into a murder. He is now on trial as to whether or not he really was the lookout.
Kathy O’Brien is Steve’s attorney who uses a tactic of distancing Steve from the other men in the case as of way of proving him not guilty.
James King is the other man on trial he is thought to be the shooter in the murder.
Sandra Petrocelli is the district atto
Crisainy Valdez
Dec 12, 2014 is currently reading it
I give monster a rate of 5 stars because this book is such an amazing book. I love this book because of the mystery of it. It gives us clues of who murder Mr.Nesbitt. In this book a young man named Steve Harmon had been put in jail because he supposably killed a man that worked in a drug store. But there is a twist to this story because Steve is making documentary about his like in jail, he puts a lot of stuff like trial,when he is sleeping and much much more Steve was changed 25 years to life f ...more
Bekah Adams
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it
It was really just okay for me.
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Madison County NC...: Monster 1 1 Sep 21, 2020 04:06AM  
UCAS 2020 English...: Pierce's Goodreads Review of "Monster" 2 7 Aug 31, 2020 12:49PM  

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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

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“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.” 33 likes
“They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can’t kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment.” 27 likes
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