UNC Children's Literature in Elementary and Middle Schools discussion

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Discussion Prompt for Monster

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message 1: by Kimberly (last edited Feb 02, 2014 02:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kimberly Lassiter | 12 comments Hailey & I are so excited to discuss Monster with you this week! Please post your favorite quote from the book or post your favorite scene direction and how it contributes to the overall story/ movie!

My favorite quote was, "I was looking for Jerry. They didn't allow kids in the visiting area, which was funny. It was funny because if I wasn't locked up, I wouldn't be allowed to come in the visiting room."- pg 156

Mary-Willoughby Romm (marywill5) | 13 comments “They take away your shoe laces 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.”

This quote shows how rough he has it in jail and how he has thought of suicide and how to deal with it. He's thought about what he could do, and he realizes he can't. It's interesting to think about how living your life is a punishment in jail, where in the real world people typically value living and being alive.

Laura Hoerning | 12 comments "I want to look at myself a thousand times to look for one true image." (page 281)

This is my favorite quote from the book because it summarizes Steve's conflict over whether he truly is innocent. Even though Steve has believed in himself throughout the whole trial, it shows that he is still not thoroughly convinced about who he is. I think that that feeling of insecurity and vulnerability is something that we can all identify with, especially during adolescence.

message 4: by Ashley (last edited Feb 04, 2014 01:46PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ashley Horn | 10 comments "I wish Jerry were here. Not in jail, but somehow with me. What would I say to him? Think about all the tomorrows of your life. Yes, that's what I would say. Think about all the tomorrows of your life." -p. 205

I think this quote speaks to the overall message of the novel. How our actions today affect our events tomorrow. How even though you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, your future is not set. It is dependent upon what we do today.

Hailey Wade | 12 comments Hello! Kim and I are super excited for our discussion tomorrow!

My favorite part of the book was the ending when Steve went to hug his lawyer, but she just turned and walked away. I think that this part hit me the hardest because I felt myself feeling like the lawyer. I was happy that Steve had been declared innocent, but I wondered if he really was. Sorry I don't have any page numbers, my kindle didn't have them for some reason.

Claire | 12 comments My favorite quote is "I hate this place. I hate this place. I can't write it enough times to make it look the way I feel. I hate, hate, hate this place!!" (46).

This quote is so simple but so powerful. The pain Steve is experiencing is beyond what he feels capable of handling. He can't find the words to articulate his pain adequately. I think many people can relate to this struggle of not being able to find the right words.

message 7: by Lindsay (last edited Feb 04, 2014 07:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lindsay Carter | 12 comments My favorite quote was: "I want to look like a good person. I want to feel like I'm a good person because I believe I am. But being in here with these guys makes it hard to think about yourself as being different. We look about the same, and even though I'm younger than they are, it's hard not to notice that we are all pretty young. I see what Miss O'Brien meant when she said part of her job was to make us look human in the eyes of the jury." (62)

I found this quote to be really interesting because it helped me see the concept of jail, prisoners and trial from a different perspective. I feel that I often look at prisoners all the same. Most of them have done bad things, but that does not make them bad people. They're all in the same place. They wear the same things. But they are still human beings. They are all different. They have different pasts, different beliefs, different goals. I thought this was a very powerful quote.

Emery Carlough | 12 comments My favorite part of Monster was at the very end of the novel when Steve went to hug his lawyer and she refused his hug. I thought this was a pivotal moment in the story and really made Steve question his character and his innocence.

Christina Adcock | 10 comments "It was easy to imagine myself sitting where they were sitting, looking at the back of a prisoner." p.98

I like this quote because the picture of his mug shot follows and it has a really powerful effect. You can see his outside appearance, instead of the way he thinks about himself. This is something he struggles with throughout the book. His lawyer wants to make him look human; he wants to feel like a good person because he says he believes he is.

Michelle Gay | 10 comments “It is about being alone when you are not really alone and about being scared all the time.” pg. 4

This is a very emotional quote since it is one of the firs times we hear from him in jail. Not only does it show how young and scared he is, but it helps us to identify with him and pulls us to his side.

Emily Beeninga (ecbeeninga) | 10 comments "Miss O'Brien looked at me- I didn't see her looking at me but I knew she was. She wanted to know who I was. Who was Steve Harmon? I wanted to open my shirt and tell her to look into my heart to see who I really was, who the real Steve Harmon was."

I love how honest Steve is with his thoughts and how he wants to be transparent. Steve wasn't interested in putting on a "tough guy" mask and ignoring the seriousness of the situation. This quote, to me, captures Steve's most vulnerable point and exposes his true character.

Brenna Leonard | 13 comments "I hear myself thinking like all the other prisoners here, trying to convince myself that everything will be all right, that the jury can't find me guilty because of this reason or that reason. We lie to ourselves here. Maybe we are here because we lie to ourselves."

I thought this quote was really powerful and took me a couple reads to really process what he is saying. Steve is so confused and troubled by being in jail that he is becoming like the others and using their thought process to find some kind of hope in his situation. He sees everyone lying trying to give themselves false hope when maybe that's what convinced them to do the crime that got them in jail in the first place.

message 13: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Slater | 12 comments my favorite, and least favorite, scene of the book is on page 276. The not guilty verdict is read and when Steve turns to Miss O'Brien to hug her she does not look pleased.

Steve spreads his arms to hug O'Brien but she stiffens and turns to pick up her papers from the table before them. Her lips tense; she is pensive. She gathers her papers and moves away as Steve, arms outstretched, turns toward the camera. His image is black and white and the grain is nearly broken. It looks like one of the pictures they use for psychological testing or some strange beast, a monster.

This scene is so haunting, the conclusion to a moment of elation with the realization that though things have taken a turn, they are in no way cleared. It speaks to other's perception of Steve as a monster but also to Steve's own question of himself as a monster.

Lauren | 12 comments "Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie."

I liked this quote because it set up the book. This quote shows Steve's confusion and gave him the inspiration to write his own movie.

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