Walter Dean Myers – Monster Audiobook
In 1999, in his Young AdultBook Monster , Walter Dean Myers introduced readers to a young man named Steve Harmon. Steve, sixteen years old and in prison awaiting a murder trial, is an African American teenager and a product of inner city poverty and circumstances. In this story, Steve recounts the events leading up to the crime and the drama recounts the prison and courtroom while trying to determine if what the prosecutor said about him is true. Is he really a monster? Learn more about this award winning book that gives an inside account of a disturbing teenager struggling to prove to himself that he is not what everyone thinks he is.
Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old African American teenager from Harlem, is awaiting trial for his role as an accomplice in a drugstore robbery that ended in murder. Before being imprisoned, Steve loved amateur cinema and during their detention decides to write his experience in prison as a film script. In a film script format, Steve gives readers an account of the events leading up to the crime. As the narrator, director and star of his story, Steve navigates readers through the events of the courtroom and discussions with his lawyer. He directs the camera angles to different characters in the judge’s story, witnesses and other teenagers involved in the crime. Readers are given a front seat in the personal dialogue with Steve himself through diary entries he buried in the middle of the script. Steve writes this note to himself, “I want to know who I am. I want to know the panic road I’ve taken. I want to look at myself a thousand times to find a true picture. Steve innocent of his part in the crime?
Readers must wait until the end of Walter Dean Myers – Monster Audiobook to experience Steve’s courtroom and personal verdict.
About the Author, Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers writes gritty urban fiction that depicts life for African American teens growing in downtown neighborhoods. Its characters know poverty, war, neglect and street life. Through his writing skills, Myers has become the voice for many African American teenagers and he creates characters they can connect with or relate to. Myers, also raised in Harlem, recalls his own years of adolescence and the difficulty of climbing above the attraction of the streets. As a young boy, Myers struggled in school, got into several fights, and found himself struggling on several occasions. He attributes reading and writing as his lines live.
For more fiction recommended by Myers, read the reviews of Shooter and Fallen Angels .
Prizes and ChallengesBook
Monster has won several notable awards including the 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, the 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award and was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist. Monster is also listed on several book lists as Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Recalcitrant Readers .
In addition to prestigious awards, Monster has also been the target of several book challenges in school districts across the country. Although not on the American Library Association’s list of oft-contested books, The American Booksellers for Free Speech (ABFFE) has followed monster book challenges. One book challenge is from parents in the Blue Valley School District in Kansas who want to challenge the book for the following reasons: “vulgar language, sexual explicitation, and violent imagery that is used free of charge.”
“Despitethe various challenges of books monster, Myers continues to write stories that depict the realities of growing up poor and dangerous neighborhoods. He continues to write the stories that many teens want to read.
Recommendation & Review
Written in a unique format with anstoryline, Monster engagingis guaranteed to engage teen readers. Whether or not Steve is innocent is the big hook in this story. Readers are invested in learning about the crime, the evidence, the testimony and the other teens involved in order to find out whether Steve is innocent or guilty.
Because the story is written like a movie script, readers will find the actual story reading quick and easy to follow. The dynamic story gains as few details are revealed about the nature of the crime and Steve’s connection to the other characters involved. Readers grapple with determining whether Steve is a likeable or trustworthy character. The reality that this story could be ripped from the headlines makes it a book that most teens, including struggling readers, will enjoy reading.
Walter Dean Myers is a renowned author and all of his teenage books should be recommended to read. He understands the urban life that some African American teens experience and through his writing he gives them a voice, as well as an audience that can better understand their world. Myers’ books take serious issues facing adolescents such as poverty, drugs, depression, and war and make these topics accessible. His outspoken approach has not been without elicitation, but his forty years of long-standing work has not gone unnoticed by his teenage readers, nor by award committees. Monster is recommended by editors for ages 14 and over.