Monday, November 22, 2010

Monster

I did not like this book written by Walter Dean Myers. Steve Harmon is 16 years old. He’s a good student, who’s shown promise in his film-making class. He has a stable and loving family. And he’s on trial for murder. Accused of acting as the lookout for a drug store robbery in which the owner was killed, Steve finds his world turned upside down. He’s being held as an adult in a New York detention center. In an attempt to cope with the brutality and degradation of jail and the helplessness he feels at the trial, Steve writes down his experiences and feelings as though it were the script for a movie.

Usually minors involved in robbery are only held until they turn 18, but if a murder is involved they might be charged as adults. The author drew some experiences from his own life for the novel. He was raped by his father when he was 10 years old. After his mother died he moved in with his father's ex-wife and her new husband. He had a speech impediment and was often teased in school, leading to fights. He was caught selling drugs in school. He joined the Army at age 17 and while working at a construction job decided to develop his talent as a writer.

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