Myers, W. D. (1999). Monster. NY: Harper.
W.D. Myers’ Monster is a short young adult drama about Steve Harmon, a sixteen year old boy on trial for murder along with another man from his neighborhood in Harlem. Steve tells about his time in jail and in the courtroom while flashing back to the events that lead up to the trial. The vivid details of the story are written in first person, and Steve, the narrator, imagines himself writing a movie script about this experience. Although he is found innocent at the end of the novel, Steve never seems to be able to escape the label of “monster.”
Commentary and Text Connections:
With an interesting switch between screenplay and flashbacks, the story and trial of a robbery and murder is seen. Steve maintains his innocence as the truth is explored not only in what happened, but what people are made of. As a sixteen-year-old Steven actively writes a screenplay of what is going on, the truth is unveiled to the reader. The truth always comes out in the end. In a school setting, this could be used in a theater class for analysis as well as to add on to and perform. Legal proceeding could be used in a government class, and in history class students could research the time period, racism and other, similar events that have occurred.