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am 9. Dezember 1999
Steven Harmon was only a lookout in the four-person holdup of a drugstore, but during the robbery attempt the store owner was killed. Steven wasn't even IN the store at the time of the murder. How guilty does that make Steven? Does his participation make him a MONSTER? That is the question left up to the jury in this courtroom trial. While the book in made up entirely of the trial, Myers uses mixed modes to depict the case. Steven, an aspiring filmmaker, records the trial's events as a screenplay, complete with close ups, reaction shots, and voice overs. Between scenes, we read Steven's handwritten journal about the case and see his fears of prison life and apprehensions about the proceedings in court. Mixed in are photographs of "Steven" in anguish. I found the telling of the story to be riveting and I feel it would provide terrific discussion in a classroom, perhaps 9th grade. Not only must we judge Steven's guilt, we also judge others involved and learn about the justice system in all its glory. By the time the novel ends, we feel as if we've been with Steven the whole time, and know we would never want to experience these events. It makes us consider peer pressure, the choices we make, the integrity of people, and different degrees of guilt. I enjoyed MONSTER very much and highly recommend it for personal use or with a class.
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am 23. Mai 2004
the story "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers is about the 16-year-old boy named Steve Harmon, who is on trial for being a lookout in a felony murder. the story is told from the main characters point of view and takes place mostly inside the courtroom. Two other boys, James King and Richard "Bobo" Evans have done a robbery in a drugstore, where the shopowner, Mr. Nesbitt was killed and money and six packs of cigaretts were stolen, but Steve never becomes part of the robbery. Steve a filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script for being objektive and finding out who he realy is.
I think this book is quiet interesting, because you come across so many different aspects. On the one hand you see how the law system of the United States work.It is shown by a dedicated Prosecuter. Simultaneous it is intersting to see how the speaches of the prosecuter and the defendence are created. You also get to know how the situation in jail is like.With the parts that Steve wrote you can try to think into him and understand his feelings he has. It#s written in changing perspektives what is a good solution to make the reader clear if Steve talks about the courtroom or if he talks about his feelings and the changing perspektive makes it much more interesting to read.It also gives all sites very well to the reader.In the end I think this book is a good chosen for englishlessons because it is good and understandable to read.
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am 19. Mai 2004
The book is about a 16 year-old boy, called Steve Harmon who is accused of felony murder.
It's written as a script. From time to time there are passages which are written as a diary entry. These passages are very personal and they tell us very much about his feelings. The script is formal and unpersonal. It only shows the development of the trial. Sometimes it's very hard to read, because of the slang of the actors. Several aspects are mentioned. On one hand the way Steve's family goes along with that and on the other hand the way Steve goes along with the situation in jail. the layout is very untypical. the letters are very big and sometimes handwrittetn. To get picture of Steve there are a few photographs of him.
Even towards the end questions are left opened.
For example why Steve has lied on the witness stand, if he has to get a harder punishment and so on. The reader has to think about these questions.
My opinion is that the book is easy to read and very realistic, because of the authentic way the trial is described and the daily crime which happens day by day in the streets of New York.
It's very exciting to see how somebody feels and acts in a situation like Steve's.
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I think his book was really strange. The way it was written was a major turn off because it was formatted in the same manner as a movie script. It was annoying because it alternated between two different writing forms which were a script and a diary. Then, there were also sometimes flashbacks which you couldn't always understand or which were sometimes not necessary in my opinion. In addition, there were way too many characters to try to focus on and it became a task to remember each and every character and how he or she was involved. Steve's role in the getover keeps a mystery and I don't really know if I like this. The storyline itself was very entertaining and the characters seemed real. Some parts were even funny. At first I thought this book would be just another suspicious tale that teaches young kids about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rather, it was sometimes really deep and you began to feel sorry for Steve. What I didn't like is that sometimes you didn't know which day it was, if the journal entries were written in the evening or in the morning, if the next day had already started or if it was still the same day. Sometimes it was very confusing to decide between reality and flashback or movie. I liked that there was no happy end, I mean there was somehow one, because Steve has been found not guilty but the whole thing has this huge bad impact one him though. Anyway, the book kept my attention throughout and it was never boring, which was reached in the first place by Steve's inner struggeling. I must admit that it is a really interesting and special idea to write a book like a script and I could imagine well how it would look as a movie. So I wonder why nobody hasn't made a movie of it yet. I don't know if it is positive for reading and understatement. But although I would have liked it more in a normal writing style, I think it's a good book. I would recommend it to kids over 13. It has not too difficult vocabularies about law, court and all, which I really liked. I believe this book has an important message. I can't really summarize it but it has one which says something about finding out who you are and growing up, taking reponsibility for what you've done. All in all I'd say 'Monster' is a tragical and happy book, sometimes both at the same time but definitely not only one of them, which is propably the best about this book.
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am 4. März 2011
Sixteen-year-old Steve is on trial for murder. But he's having trouble understanding why. "What did I do? I walked into a drugstore to look for some mints, and then I walked out. What was wrong with that? I didn't kill Mr. Nesbitt"(p. 140). Nothing is wrong with that, of course--unless the purpose of that casual trip was to give the "all clear" for a robbery that ended in the murder of the store's owner. Then, something is very wrong.

By structuring the book as a movie script being written by the character as he spends his days in prison, faces his jury, prepares with his lawyer, confronts his mother and father, and, most importantly, examines his own life, Myers presents Steve as a talented young man who may have made a single poor choice. However, Myers retains conflict necessary for building a compelling storyline by having Steve refuse to acknowledge his part in Mr. Nesbitt's death. The result is that the reader wants to sympathize with the teen, but cannot help but wonder, if Steve truly does not understand why what he did was wrong, what is going to keep him from going astray in the future? Maybe, as the prosecutor stated, Steve really is a monster.

Overall, MONSTER sends an excellent message to young adults: You, and only you, are responsible for the choices you make, and the consequences for those choices may ultimately affect not only the rest of your life, but the lives of the people around you--and maybe those you do not even know. Therefore, think about what you are doing, consider the consequences of your actions, and choose wisely.

Boston Globe--Horn Book Awards, Honor Book,1999

Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Young Adult Fiction, Finalist 1999

Coretta Scott King Awards, Honor Book, 2000

Edgar Allan Poe Awards, Nominee, Best Young Adult Novel, 2000

Michael L. Printz Award, Winner, 2000

Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Grades 9-12, Winner, 2002

Reviewed by: Mechele R. Dillard
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am 25. Mai 2004
"Monster", Walter Dean Meyers
The novel "Monster", written by Walter Dean Myers deals with the 16-year-old boy, Steve Harmon, who is accused of serving as a lookout in a robbery in witch the owner of a Harlem drugstore was killed.
Myers uses an unusual perspective for telling. Steve, an amateur filmmaker records the trial's events as a screenplay complete with close up, reaction shots and voice overs. The reader has the chance to get a distance between his thoughts and Steve's feelings (objective view). Interspersed within the script are diary entries in which Steve recounts his fears of prison life and apprehensions about procedings in court.
In this novel Myers presents the many faces of Steve's character. Steve searches arguments himself that he is not the "Monster" the prosecutor, Petrocelli, presented him as to the jury.
The tension is hightened by the hearing of the witnesses, because all of them give different information about the case.
The question if Steve is guilty or innocent is left up to the jury.
It is interesting to see what a person being convicted of a crime would write while on trial.
Because it is written as a screenplay by Steve Harmon you can make your own pictures, instead of having the auther give you details.
Monster will challenge readers with difficult questions, to which there are no definitive answers. Perhaps Myers wants us to make up our own minds. The book makes you consider peer pressure the choices you make, the integrity of people and different degrees of guilt by discribing the various statements of the witnesses.
All in all, "Monster" is fairly well written and the vocabulary is mostly easy to understand.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyes reading different styles of stories, other than the traditional look of a book.
Lisa Bors & Insa Hoffmanns
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am 19. Mai 2004
The novel Monster written by Walter Dean Myers deals with a 16-year-old boy, named Steve Harmon, who is accused of serving as a lookout for a robbery, in which the owner of a Harlem drugstore was killed.
Steve an aspiring filmmaker records the trial's events as a screenplay complete with close ups reaction shots and voice overs.
Interspersed within the script are diary entries in which Steve vividly describes his fears of prison life and apprehensions about procedings in court.
The tension is hightened
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am 1. Mai 2000
Good book.I liked how the author drew me into the character's mind. I loved the book's style. Many students can use this for class performances. I would like to see this book made into a movie. The author makes you feel the character's pain and suffering. I would recommend this book to anyone. The description used makes you feel that you are a part of the action. You must understand what the abbreviations are too follow the story. The book was very suspenseful. I could not put it down. I read the book in two days. The bond between the characters was very strong. In the ending, and throughout the whole story, you could put yourself in the place of the jury. If you did not like the decision of the jury maybe you could write to the author and tell him what you thought. When reading the book I felt very scared. This is one of the reasons kids of any age shouldn't go to jail. When done I thought that it would be nice to be a lawyer and to try to save an innocent person's life from prison. The title was kind of misleading in the beginning, but near the end I understood what it meant. The weird thing about the story was that there were three lawyers instead of two. The main character was very scared and helped me realize that family is the best thing in the world. What happens in the story reminds me of bad streets in towns and that you should avoid bad places and situations. You never know if a person is a bad person just by their looks.Don't take small things in this world for granted because while in jail Sam realized that they mean alot. In closing, I definetely would read another book by this author. Travis Breese
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am 8. Mai 2004
The book MONSTER is written by Walter Dean Myers and is about the 16-years old Steve which is one of teh four defendants for felony murder. In contrast to the others Steve was never been noticeable to the police. He comes from a honest family and is a promising member of the film club in his school.
Nevertheless there are evidences that he was involved in the robbery in whose the drugstore owner was killed.
Steve tells the story round the 11 days of the trial from his prison and from the courtroom in two kinds: his diary and a screenplay, which he writes about his trial.
His diary entries show that he is a frightened young person and who always asks himself if he really is a MONSTER, as the prosecuter calls him out, the screenplay makes possible an objective view in the trial.
The reader is fast in the role of jury member, who has to decide if Steve has to be behind bars for the rest of his life.
But what did he do? This question pulls through the trial and so t'hrough the book.
Nevertheless can somebone be guilty, if someone did not do anything? Then this was the arrangely sign: Steve had to check the store and then, without giving any sign, to get out of the store, ig there was nobody in it.
This moral question stands, after Steve is spoken unguilty and it won't let the reader go after the imaginary film.
I like this book, because it is written like screenplay and so you can better imagine the whole scenes. I also like it because there are diary entries of Steve and so you better understand how he feels and I think it is also good that this book is written like a screenplay, because if someone is interessted in making film about this plot, it is helpfull.
One negative point is that there are some law words, and so it was a little bit difficult for me to understand them, because I am German, but it is not a big problem for me.
So it was good to find out how Steve's relationship between his father changes.
It is a good life story and I recommend this book to every one.
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am 30. April 2000
Imagine yourself in a court room accused of a Felony Murder and the worst part is you didn't do it!This is what happened to a 16 year old named Steve Harmon.He is the main character of the book. The main people thought to be participants in the robbery were Steve Harmon, James king, Osvaldo, and Richard "Bobo" Evans. King, Bobo and Osvaldo planned to rob a store. King told Bobo that Steve was the look out, but evidently Steve didn't want to be. Before the the robbery Steve walked out of the store and didn't say anything to them, so they went in to the store, thinking that everything was clear. They started arguing with Mr. Nesbitt and then told him to give them the money in the register. Then Mr. Nesbitt pulled out a gun on King. King took it from him and shot him. They took the money and some cigarettes. When they got caught they ratted on Steve to get an easier sentence. Steve's lawyer was a woman refered to as Miss O'Brien, Kings lawyer was a person named Briggs, and the people's prosecutor was a person named Petrocelli. The three lawyers continue to battle over who is innocent for a long period. Then Steve spends another night in prison. He mainly thinks about the crime and how he is innocent. The night before the trial, Steve can't sleep, waiting for the next day to come. He thinks about the decisions that he has made. The next day Steve waits for the jury's verdict. The jury finds Steve Harmon.... This book is a pretty good book. It's kind of hard to keep up with, but it's is still a good book. I recommend you read it.
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