Monster – Walter Dean Myers

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 prosecutor called me… MONSTER

Monster is a book written by Walter Dean Myers, published in 1999, when Walter was 62 years old. The story is about a African-American boy, named Steve Harmon. He is sixteen years old, and he’s on trial for murder. He’s accused of being a lookout during a robbery, that resulted in a death. The story begins with Steve sitting in the jail, and ends with Steve hearing if he is declared guilty or not.

Walter Dean Myers has used different styles of writing in the book.  At the beginning and at the end of the story he uses a very big type, which make it look like the credits, at the end of a movie. Also, parts of the book are handwritten, because Steve has a notebook, which he uses to describe the jail and the courtroom. The book is written from Steve’s perspective, but it is screenplay format. So it’s like Steve is a camera which zooms in and out on people and other things. This writing style makes the book more interesting, because it’s pretty unique, it’s like it is a book and a movie together. Maybe it is a little bit too much, after a while the screenplay format gets slightly annoying.

The story is good and very well written. When you read it, you are getting so deep in the book that it feels like you’re one of the judges that are sitting in the courtroom, listening to all the suspects. That is what is so good about the book, it all seems extremely real, and you actually feel sorry for Steve. It is also nice to know what happens when someone is being arrested. This book gives you a pretty realistic view of how this works.

The book is not only exciting, it also sends a message. When Steve cooperated with the robbers he didn’t know the consequences. When he has to go to jail and face the prosecutor he truly regrets the choices he made. I think a lot of people in the world that  have committed a crime had the same feelings. They didn’t know what could happen if they got caught. This book sends a message to young adults, it says that you have to think twice before doing something that can affect the rest of your life.

I would recommend this book if you like something different than almost all books. It’s not hard to read and once you start reading, you want to know if Steve is being declared guilty or not. The story is exciting, good, well written and also a bit informative.

David van Westrop V5B


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