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Monsters

  • Date Submitted: 10/06/2013 06:37 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.2 
  • Words: 599
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Monster
By: Walter Dean Myers
Monster is about a sixteen year old boy named Steve Harmon. He is on trial for murder for allegedly being the lookout for two men who robbed a Harlem, NY drugstore and killed the store owner. The novel is written from Steve’s viewpoint using a screenplay format to transcribe the trial testimony, then switching to a personal journal perspective whenever he’s in prison. In his journal entries, Steve expresses how surreal he feels during the trial knowing he faces the possibility of life in prison.
The novel opens on Monday July 6th with Steve waking up in prison and being extremely frightened. He explains things he has learned about prison, like how the best time to cry is at night while inmates fight and scream for help to cover up your cries. He says that if you show weakness in prison it will get you beaten up. Steve still doesn’t understand why he is in prison. He feels that there wasn’t and never will be anything wrong with walking into a drugstore and looking around. He testifies that it was just a mere coincidence that he was in the store on the same day two men from his neighborhood, Bobo Evans and James King, robbed the store and killed the owner. Steve is a co-defendant on trial with James.
During the trial Steve’s defense attorney’s strategy is based on trying to prove his true character, and show the jury that he is not a monster, but rather a sixteen year old boy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Several witnesses testified, some with the belief that Steve was innocent, while others believing he was guilty.
Osvaldo Cruz , another boy from Steve’s neighborhood, is presented as a prosecution witness. He explained to the jury that he knows Steve was involved in the robbery because Osvlado himself was forced by Bobo to participate. Osvlado then contradicts himself on cross examination by testifying that he did not see Steve give a signal to Bobo and James to enter the drugstore. He admits that Steve could have just...

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