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Example by Ms. McMillan
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Monster by Walter Dean Myers is about a teenage boy who is in jail waiting for his court trial. Steve is accused of being an accessory to murder for supposedly acting as a lookout while two older teens from the neighborhood rob and murder the owner of a drugstore. The reader doesn’t know if Steve is guilty or not, but instead feels Steve’s total misery as he goes through the trauma of trial and living in the juvenile detention facility.
One interesting part of the book is that it alternates from Steve’s point of view to a screenplay he writes about the experience. Steve’s hobby was making movies, so he decides to use his time writing a movie version of what happened. Reading the book is a bit like watching a TV courtroom drama. The suspense over whether or not Steve is guilty makes it very hard to put this book down. I like how this book forces the reader to look at an issue from both sides and to continually ask questions. Is Steve a monster or is he just a kid who made a mistake? Who’s responsible for the crime in the end? Is it possible for people to escape bad influences from their peers or neighborhoods? I recommend this book to people who are interested in thinking about what would happen if they made a mistake that might affect the rest of their lives. If you want to read an emotional drama that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens, read this book.