Monster by Walter Dean Myers

September 17, 2008
By Kevin Rodrigues, Miami Beach, FL

This book is one of the most intense and intriguing books I have ever read and probably one of the best. The main character Steve Harmon is in jail on charges of felony murder after his friends try to rob a drugstore and end up killing the storeowner. This is a book about realization of mistakes and going through tough ordeals. I needed to share my thoughts on this incredible fictional book.
In this book, the theme is Peer Pressure. Before the trial, Steve was a good student who was well loved by his family and loved to shoot movies. He sought to be one of the boys who were thought to be “cool.” Steve ends up with the wrong people and they pressure the young 16 year-old into being a lookout for the stickup and he wrongfully ends up in a jail cell thinking about what he had done. “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.”

The book is named after what the prosecutor called Steve during the trial and what he had become after trying to be “cool.” The man behind the shooting was actually James King; one of the people Steve had thought was his friend. The book is written in movie-script form, respectively, because Steve loved to shoot films and was fantastic with the camera. Fantastic for a high school student, at least. Steve is so focused on himself that he doesn't even think about his parents or Mr. Nesbitt, the victim of the shooting. At the end of the novel, Steve can feel the uneasiness his parents have about him and the people around him.
Steve's character changes throughout the novel significantly from a good student to a felon who was in jail but the change were in the people who lived around him. Mr. Harmon, Steve's dad, was affected deeply by the trial and for the first time in Steve's life, he saw his dad cry. The change in Mrs. Harmon was evident during the trial. She was very scared and nervous and she was filled with guilt. She was sad and Steve noticed that still after the trial, she still was scared of him and the trouble he might get into.
Walter Dean Myers writes a book based on the life of a sixteen year old who is held in jail and in trial. The emotions that he had to deal with were indescribable and he was very scared. The lasting affect of the trial was not on Steve himself, but in the others around him including his family and his friends. Steve knows what the right thing to do is now instead of what the cool thing to do is.

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

on Oct. 4 2010 at 5:20 pm
DiamondsIntheGrass GOLD, Martinsville, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
Worry is simply a misuse of the imagination.

ok... so you just gave away the ending of the book. but i still have no idea why you liked the book, what is special about it...?

luna887 said...
on Sep. 23 2008 at 1:43 am
I loved this article. You are a great writer!


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!