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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

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Facing life in prison and accused for a crime that you don’t even remember if you committed yourself. That is what Steve Harmon was going through in Monster by Walter Dean Myers as he sat in front of a judge, potentially facing twenty five years to life in prison. Raised in the “projects” of Harlem New York, Steve’s neighbors were anything but good role models. Even being around these thugs for ten minutes can get you locked up for a very long time. Once you’re in jail, all you have to do to possibly cut your sentence in half is to tell the authorities a somewhat useful piece of information that they don’t already know. Or claim that you know something or someone that was involved. That is exactly what some of his neighbors who received a jail sentence did to Steve; the only problem is that he doesn’t remember anything that happened during the time of the robbery so he has no supporting argument. The only thing he has to work with is assumptions, and will assumptions alone be enough to keep him out of prison?
I enjoyed this book because of the script format that it was written in. This might be confusing to some readers but I was interested by it. I also was caught up in the seeming biography of Steve and how there was a more than necessary amount of information about him. A big part of the plot is having the reader guess because there are some questions that are deliberately unclear and some answers that are purposely never given. Because this book is told in a script format, the reader gets multiple sides of the story instead of the traditional one sided story. For those reasons, I would recommend the book to guys above the age of twelve because of the complicated plot. Overall I would give Monster four out of five stars.





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