Friday, September 7, 2012

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout. Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of "the system," cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences.

For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life. As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth.

My take: 3 looks
This is a very raw and real look at a minor in prison, written for the YA crowd. Written in an intriguing screenplay-manner, it is easy to read and provides a clear mental image of what the author, the young man on trial, is going through.

I liked his viewpoint of the effects of his arrest and trial on the attorney, his mother, and especially his father. It is a real look at the consequences of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I highly recommend this book.

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