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Monster - Walter Dean Myers

Steve Harmon is an African-American teen from Harlem who is on trial for a murder he did not commit. His only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time, yet he is considered a monster among the prosecution. An amateur cinematographer, Steve envisions his trial as a movie as he allows the reader to experience events that lead to the dramatic trial. Although Steve maintains his innocence he struggles with the idea of having to spend his life in prison and being viewed as a monster.   


Young adult books are not usually written in the drama genre, but Myers decision made the book more realistic as the reader experienced the events from Steve's view point. This book could easily be incorporated into a middle or high school classroom to expose students to drama and internal conflict. Because of its realistic style this book can provide an eye opening experience to young readers, and lends itself to discussion. Adolescent readers will able to take a look at the consequences that may arise from being associated with the wrong crowd.  


Myers, W. D. (1999). Monster. NY: Harper.