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message 1: by Ms. Flagg (new)

Ms. Flagg (MissFlagg) | 19 comments Mod
Paragraph 1:
-Did you like or dislike the book? Why? What specifically was good or bad?
-Did you think that the screenplay/journal structure was effective?

Paragraph 2: Reflecting
-Do you think Monster is an appropriate title for the book? Why/why not?
-Identify two themes in the book. Do you think that they are relevant to today's youth?

message 2: by Max B (new)

Max B | 31 comments I recently read the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. It is a realistic fiction book written in screenplay form. I liked the book. I think I liked it and got so involved in it because Steve is such an interesting character and you really root for him. I think that the inner monologue (the journal) was really good and helped make the book better. I think that the screenplay journal structure was effective. It helped bring Steve's inner thoughts out and also told us the story through his eyes instead of an outside narrator's. The screenplay structure was cool too because we got to learn how screenplays are written and we also got to act out the parts.

I think that Monster is a good title for the book but I'm not sure if it's totally appropriate. There is a fair amount of time in the book that is spent on the topic of him being a monster but there is more time spent on the trial and the moral decisions he makes. The title could've been Innocent Until Proven Guilty or something cooler like that. One theme in the book is don't try to change who you are. Steve scopes out the store for Bobo and King because he wants to be accepted by their group and be cool. He risks spending his whole life in jail, just so he could be accepted by a group of people. A lot of kids do the same today to be accepted. Another theme is that sometimes lying can get you out of trouble, though it isn't the right thing to do. Steve lies on the stand so he can get out of jail but when O'Brien tells him to, he's skeptical. He knows it's wrong to lie but he realizes that he has a bright future and deserves to live his life. Kids bend the truth all the time, that doesn't mean it's right. Overall, it's a good book and I enjoyed it.

message 3: by Lydia (last edited Jun 12, 2012 02:13PM) (new)

Lydia We have just finished reading the realistic fiction book "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers together in class. I enjoyed reading this book because it was all about justice being served, how the mind works, and the judicial system. The part that was especially good was when Steve's cell mates were telling him it isn't about honesty or the truth but about survival. This was a good part because it talked all about how being in jail isn't great and that the fastest way to get out is by taking advantage of any possibilities that appear and that survival is possibly your only friend. A part in the book that was bad was when Steve started filming about himself at different angles. This was a bad part because it showed Steve being unsure about who he really was after going through the trial. It was also a sad scene because before all of this happened Steve knew who he was, he was a film student and now after the trial he's unsure about who he is as a person.

I think that Monster is a good title for the book. The reason why i think that it is a good title for the book because it makes you think about what really defines a person as a monster. Two themes that are in the book are "Peer Pressure" and "Reflecting". The theme "Peer Pressure" is in this book because it was all about Steve wanting to step up and be cool just like James King and Bobo. While Steve was found not guilty he talks about why he wanted to be tough just like them; this shows that Steve must have felt some type of peer pressure from the tough guys in the neighborhood. Another theme in this book is "Reflecting". "Reflecting" is a theme in this book because Steve starts to reflect his actions in his notebook. Steve starts reflecting on what happened and what he knew, then he starts reflecting on the decisions he made and what would be the possible consequence in the middle of the book, and then at the end of the book he starts reflecting on who he really is as a person; and how others would view him.

message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie G | 31 comments I liked the book Monster because there was a lot of suspension and curiosity. I kept on wondering and questioning is Steve was guilty or not. It made the book very enjoyable. I think the screenplay/journal structure was effective because it let you really visualize what was happening. Also you could see what was going on around Steve through the close ups, medium shots, and long shots. It made you imagine what was happening and you could really imagine it too. I really liked the journal structure because you could really see what Steve was thinking about when he wrote his thoughts and what his surroundings were like.

I think the title Monster is appropriate because the book was about people being monsters and making the wrong decisions. Two themes that I think are in this book are think about your actions because if Steve thought about his actions he would not have been in his situation. Another theme that I think was in this book was don't give into pressure because Steve felt like he wanted to belong so he listened to king. These themes are relevant to todays youth because many people do not think about there actions before doing something and feel pressured and forced to do the wrong thing.

message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (beckyboo13) | 9 comments We have just finished reading the realistic fiction book "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers. Personally, I did not love the book. It was a good book, but I found it hard to follow. By that I mean with all of the movie related comments and all the characters, I walked away from the book confused. I think the screen play/ journal structure was effective because it told us the truth, without the people in the jury knowing. In the screenplay Steve also showed who he really was, because when he was on the stand, he lied.

It's hard to say if Monster is an appropriate name for the book because on one hand, they were monsterious but on the other hand, they clearly have it hard at home and in life so I don't really think its fair to tittle someone, monster. One theme would be think before you act. If Steve would have really thought over robbing Mr. Nesbit, he prabably would not have been on trial. This theme is very much relevant to today's children. Kids always should think before they act, as well as grow ups. Another theme is lieing could get you out of trouble. Since Steve lied, he wasn't guilty of anything because the jury beleived him. This is relevant to child today, because I see in school if a kid is getting in trouble, they might try to lie, to be in the clear. Not saying lieing is a good thing though.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked the book because it was different since it is a screenplay but at the same time some personal feeling. It was good because I liked how Meyers wrote the "movie" so descriptively with all the shots, the movement of the characters, and the feel of when the attorneys make their arguments. It showed all of the angles in the courtroom, but most of all with the flashbacks that showed how the main characters were like for us readers to see their true character. I really thought that the screenplay/journal was effective because we can see clearly what is happening in the courtroom and see how a murder case is conducted. I think that everyone can agree that it was straightforward because if we readers understand what is happening in those scenes then that is what makes it effective, by us having a clear picture.

I think so because this book is all about having monstrous qualities and showing those qualities. This whole book was about Steve being on trail for murder because he was part of a stickup. He wanted to do that because he wanted to be like Osvaldo, King, and Bobo, so that shows that he is a little monster. Especially those three boys are monsters since they wanted to steal money. When Steve is in jail all those inmates are criminals who did bad things which shows that they are all monsters. This shows that Monster is an appropriate title for the book. One theme can be think twice before you something that end in a big consequence. This is relevant to today's youth because sometimes youth's think that specific action is not going to hurt them but it does. Another theme is being honest with yourself. It probably is relevant to today's youth because they need to be honest themselves if they think what they are doing is right or wrong.

message 7: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Z | 16 comments We just finished reading "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers. When I started reading this book I thought it was boring. I didn't want to read this book, but later on the story got more interesting. I couldn't decide whether Steve was innocent or guilty. There was a lot of evidence that supported that Steve was guilty and innocent. I like this book because this book is very different from any other type of books I have ever read. The screen play and journal was very effective. It was evidence shown to the reader.

Monster is probably a appropriate title because in every trail someone needs to go to jail. Monster is something who hurts the people around them. The two themes are think before you act and what ever happens in the past can affect the future. This is relevant to today's youth because many people are in jail. They're in jail for robbery, set up, or killed somebody.

message 8: by Aren (new)

Aren Marfey | 34 comments I did not like the book a lot or dislike the book i thought it was interesting. I liked how it was written in play right form and i disliked how the answer wasn't given away at the beginning. But I'm mostly leaning towards the good side because the book had a lot of hidden messages which i loved. One such as its hard to find the type of person you are if you haven't made any mistakes, you only learn from mistakes and so on. I thought the way the book was written in play right form was great it showed how this was only one part of his journey to becoming who he is. The book was the first movie he ever wrote and at the end he said he needed to learn more about himself which means more movies are going to be made so he can answer his question "Who am i"?

I think that Monster is an appropriate title for this book because, like i said before, it makes you think about another hidden question, "Is Steve a monster"? this title is great and its a great thing to think about while reading though out the book. One main theme i thought of when we finished the book was, Its hard to find the person you are. I thought of this because Steve through out the book was thinking about himself and who he truly is and may become. Another is thinking about if people are monsters or not. I know this really isn't a theme but i think its close enough. When you think about a person being bad you should say to your self are they a monster or not. Use as much information as you know about this character or person to come up with a yes or a no.

message 9: by Dylan T (new)

Dylan T (dylant) | 4 comments I like the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I like how there was a different side to the story but you listened to the main characters side and it was right. Also, what was good was that they showed the court cases when you knew who was the one telling the truth. I think the screenplay and journal structure was effective because it showed what Steve really meant about the robbery case.

I think Monster is good title for the book because it shows who can be a monster and who can't be a monster like Steve. One theme in the book is to keep what you have that is good with you and don't ruin it by trying to be cool or something else. Also, another theme is to not judge a person about how they act and how they can look. I think they are relevant to today's youth because it shows what is right for kids.

message 10: by Audie (new)

Audie Suydam | 29 comments I have recently finished the screenplay written book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I liked this screenplay because it shows a subject that relates to me, because I always read about poor black kids in deep trouble. This novel was written in the first person by a boy who was on trial for accessory to felony murder. I believe the way it was written was perhaps a distraction to the reader, because you have to know exactly what kind of shot he wishes you to see this part in, and if you don't see it in that way, you kind of ruin that part of the book.

I do think that Monster is a good title for the book because I believe a title of a book must somehow be integrated into the book itself. In the book, Steve is wondering if perhaps he really is a monster, which is the number one internal conflict in this novel. Therefore I believe that this novel was excellently titled. A theme that was in this book is that you have to be caere of you you wish to emulate, because it may get you in trouble. Another theme is the theme that you shouldn't try to do things illegally becuase it never works out I believe these themes still relate now because I am living through this time, and I encounter things like that all the time.

message 11: by Alice (new)

Alice Chen | 33 comments I recently read the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I liked this book/ screenplay because I really connected with the character, Steve. I find myself hoping that Steve was not involved in the robbery/murder. What makes this book even better is that it is written in screenplay form. This is better because the readers really get to hear every exact thought and opinion of Steve. This also helps us decide whether or not Steve is actually guilty.

I think that Monster is a good title for this book because Steve asks himself whether or not going on trial for murder makes him a monster. Also it makes us the readers wonder about what exactly defines a monster. One theme in the book is that you shouldn't do things just to fit in. He risked his innocence just so that he could be accepted and liked by a group of bad people. This does relate to today's youth because many people I know try to be cool and do things that they know aren't right. Another theme in this book is that you always have to pay for your actions. Steve was involved in the robbery and therefore had to face the consequences of being on trial for murder.

message 12: by Aidan Farrell (last edited Jun 12, 2012 07:50PM) (new)

Aidan Farrell | 26 comments We finished the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I thought that this book was very good. I think that the book had a very interesting way of telling the story. I liked this idea of writing in play form because it was original. I liked the part when the main character Steve put his life into the context of a movie. It showed what was actually going on in the book in very interesting ways. I did think that the screenplay was effective because it really shows what Steve Harmon was involved in, it showed his point of view as well as other people's point of view.

I think that Monster was an okay name for the book but I would have added something extra to it. Instead of putting a misleading word like Monster on it I would add the story of a confused boy or something like that so people would know what they were getting into when they started to read the book. One of the themes in this book is that people should own up to what they do. A lot more people got in trouble than were supposed to. If the people who commited the crime owned up to it then Steve Harmon possibly would not have to have gotten involved in this whole mess that did not include him in the end. I think that this is a problem with today's youth because a lot of people are trying to lie to keep them from getting into trouble. This even applies to adults. Another theme in the book is think before you act. This is an important theme in the book because if the robbers thought about what they were doing before they acted upon it they probably would have not gone through with the robbery and Mr.Nesbitt would still be alive. This also applies to the youth of today and adults. Some people are too impulsive and they shoot first and ask questions later without thinking about it and this is a big problem in the world and in the book.

message 13: by Luca (new)

Luca | 27 comments I really liked reading Monster for the second time. Breaking down the book helped me understand it much better than the first time. I wish they would have told us if Steve was guilty or not! I believe that the screen play structure was very effective because all the Cut To's had a very big effect on the story.
Monster is a very effective name because you can tell that he named it himself because of how ashamed and guilty he was. One theme is to think things through, and the other is not to throw your life away. The majority of the youth do abide by these rules.

message 14: by Olivia (new)

Olivia | 31 comments I have recently finished the screenplay "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers. I liked this book a lot, but I'm not sure if I can say it was one of my favorites. I liked how this book was told from one perspective (Steve) and how it was lot different from all the other books that I have read by this author and by other authors because of the structure of the writing and how it is in screenplay format which made it fun and easy to read and understand. Some parts of the book were a little boring for me though. For example, I did not care for hearing what the witnesses or about the stage directions and things like that but I still enjoyed the book and felt the same good and satisfied feeling that my other friends felt after finishing the book, I am happy that I read it.

I think that the title "Monster" really fits the book because of how it was a topic and symbol that was brought up in the book very early, and it was something that was referred to throughout the book so it made a very good title because it fit the plot of the book and was a continuous symbol. I think two themes that I found while reading the book were the theme of 'peer pressure' and the theme of 'seeing/finding yourself from different angles or a different lens'. First, I think the theme of "peer pressure" fits the book well because of how it talked about many characters being pressured to join gangs and participate in things that they maybe did not want to participate in like how Steve became a part of the stick-up plan. I think this theme is very relevant to the youth today because of how at this age many kids are starting to ind themselves in situations where they may be pressured to do things and so it is very relevant. The other theme I found, "seeing/finding yourself from different angles or a different lens" was a theme that I saw as Steve Harmon struggled to comprehend that his life could possibly turn out horrible if he was found guilt and the whole essence of Steve wanting to see who he really is and understand who he is. I think this also relates to the parts in the end of the book when Steve goes home and makes movies of himself over and over in different ways because I think that is his way of figuring himself out and seeing who he truly is. This is very relevant to the youth today at our age because when we go off to high school we are learning more about ourselves and who we want to be and who we think we are and it is our way of finding ourselves and trying to see where we fit the best. Therefore, that is what I took out of reading the book "Monster".

message 15: by Gameassassin1020 (new)

Gameassassin1020 (goodreadscomgameasassin1020) | 9 comments I finished the book Monster by Walter Dean Myer. I didn't like the books format, and how it was written like a screen write. I feel it needed to have a lot of details but the screen write format stripped it down to only dialogue. I think this is because if this was a movie the director would set up the scenes and the screen write would be for the actors. I didn't like the book too much. It appeared too bland and boring and didn't really expand on the people Steve knew. I think if the book had shown us flashbacks in which we could piece together to find out if Steve had committed a crime or not the book would have seemed a bit more complete.

I like the title "Monster" because it really does explain Steve's pursuit to find out who he is. Steve was questioning how he had gotten himself in a predicament were he could have gotten 25 years to life.One theme in the book is peer pressure because the only reason Steve was even on trial was because he wanted to be "cool" like the others. So I think Walter Dean Myers wants to tell you not to follow others who are doing the wrong thing. Another theme that's displayed in Monster is that people always assume who you are when they don't even know who you are. I think people saw Steve and gave him a bad demeanor even though he was smart and talented.

message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily Ravaschiere | 29 comments Monster, by Walter Dean Myers, is a realistic crime fiction work about a boy, Steve Harmon, who is in jail while he waits for his trial. He is being tried for murder. The story is told from the point of view of Steve, who is the narrator. The undisputed facts of the crime are these: someone robbed a store, the store owner was murdered, he was killed by a gunshot, the gunshot came from the store owner’s own gun. Steve tells the readers (and the jury) that he is innocent. The book is especially interesting for two reasons. The first reason is that Steve chooses to write a lot about his situation as if it is a movie. When Steve turns part of his experience into a movie, it is effective because it shows (a) how he feels apart from his situation, as if it is unreal and happening in a theater where he can go home afterwards, and (b) that he is trying to have some power over his situation just like a writer has power to create what happens, even though he doesn’t have much power during the trial. He even writes that the “movie” is starring, written, and directed by Steve Harmon (himself). It is true that he is in control of his own behavior choices, but, especially now that he is on trial, he is not in control of the decisions and behavior choices of everybody else. The second reason the book is especially interesting is that the reader is not sure if Steve is actually guilty or not for a lot of the book, but readers like me still loved him as a character. I don’t like books about crime and violence, but Monster is very creative, and it is interesting to see how the author tells Steve’s story and how the reader’s feelings change during the book.

“Monster” is a very interesting title for this book. It is appropriate, even though a reader can think of other titles that could be appropriate. “Monster” has a lot of applications. It can mean the way that many outsiders could look at Steve if you think he was guilty, like the prosecutor. It can mean any person that you don’t know very well who seems to have done something wrong. It can mean a horrible situation that you find yourself in. The word “monster” has meanings like a creature who is out of the ordinary and is ugly, scary, and evil. Outsiders who don’t know him could think this about Steve, and Steve could be thinking this about the justice system. Therefore, “Monster” is not a bad choice for a title of this book. One theme of Monster is who is in control. Steve tries to be in control of his trial experience when he writes it like a screenplay. He also tries to control his experience and outcome when he tries not to cry in jail and later when he lies on the witness stand. A second theme is staying true to who you are. Before he was accused of murder, Steve was a high school student in a film workshop at Stuyvesant High School. He stays true to this vision of himself as a filmmaker when he tries to create screenplay art out of his horrible situation. When his trial starts, the district attorney says he is a monster. The author, Walter Dean Myers, shows Steve writing on his “screenplay” the word “monster.” Then his lawyer tells him he has to believe in himself, and the book author shows the word “monster” crossed out in three places. He is trying to stay true to his inner vision of himself as a good person. When he is waiting for the jury to decide his case, he writes a part for himself that says that he knows what right and truth are, and that he is about right and truth. But he feels strange because his lawyer coached him on how to testify (like to say that he doesn’t remember when he spoke with another defendant, King, instead of saying that he spoke to him last summer). Steve says he is a truthful guy and readers like me believe him, even though he is not exactly truthful and not exactly lying on the witness stand. I think these two themes are relevant to today’s youth. We want to have control over our lives, and we want our adventures to have a happy ending. We want to be true to ourselves and feel bad when our actions don’t line up with who we really are inside or what we really do.

Sebastianlikespie13 | 18 comments In the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers, I thought that the book was an OK book but I like book I guess that are more exciting than just a simple court case. I like books with some sort of action going on, like something that really makes your heart race and really gets you excited. I did like it a little bit because it did have some mystery that got me thinking at times. I didn't really like how the screenplay was written in the book, I would have much preferred it if it was written as a normal book because if I were to read this book in my mind I would very much get confused throughout the whole book. I also find it quite strange to write a book like a screen play and I know I I were to see this book for reading it alone I would not read it. That is why I believe that when we read it out loud it was a lot helpful. I also found the ending predictable throughout the story. I do find monster a very appropriate title for this book because that was what most characters in the story were talking about, monsters who took an innocent persons life away so I believe the title was indeed a really good one for this book. I think one theme of this book is to know who you really are because throughout the whole book Steve really had no idea anymore of who he really is and in the end of the book he confirms that he doesn't know who he is because of him filming himself. I think another theme is to be a leader er and not a follower because he was trying to be "cool" like King and he was trying to impress him and that led to Steve almost being locked up in jail for the rest of his life.

message 18: by Cody (new)

Cody Long | 15 comments I recently read the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers which is a realistic fiction book. I really enjoyed the book because they found that steve was guilty and was proven innocent because he really did not do anything wrong. They did what I had suppected was going to happen so I like that I read the books mind. I also liked that King got jail time since he deserved it for what he did.

I do believe it is appropatite for that title cause it kind of deals with monsters.

message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Amaral | 26 comments I read the book Monster, by Walter Dean Myers, and I found it very interesting. I found the book really good because it shows us what someone young can go through something that hard. I think that the journal part really worked out because we got see who he really was more. We connected with him more, and I really like that. Also, we as readers, got to see more of the murder case, and see if we find him gulity or not.

I think that monster is a good title because in this book people might think that many of these people are monsters so it works out perfectly! And through out the entire book he kept thinking that he was a monster, so it worked out. One of the most important themes in the book i think is to not do things you know is wrong to impress others, and to be yourself, and be careful of whom you associate with. I think that those are the most important themes because Steve dealt with those things the most. Like he kept trying to be someone else to impress those guys, (King, Bobo, Osvaldo, etc.) and he wasnt being himself. Also he associated with those kind of people, and he almost got put in jail, and if he actually did the crime, he knew what he was doing, and he almost got put in jail for that. So i think that the book was really good, and those were the most important themes.

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