Monday, March 25, 2013

Monster by Walter Dean Myers - Nerdprintz

For some odd reason, I kept putting off reading this one. Even though I started the Nerdprintz Challenge, I wasn't doing the reading. Basically because the older books looked so boring. And, with the exception of Sunrise over Fallujah, I'm really not a WDM fan.This year though I got a request to do some specific book talks and this was one of several books the teacher wanted me to talk about.  I reluctantly took it home and was pleasantly surprised.

We open with a few pages from Steve Harmon's notebook. He's in jail awaiting trial on robbery and murder charges.  He talks about how scary jail is and how he's going to document his time by writing a screenplay - something he did in classes he took in high school. The book then alternates between Steve's journal and this movie of the trial. 

Monster is interesting because Steve is an unreliable narrator. His journal entries don't quite line up with the flashbacks that he put in the movie. In the end, you are unsure of what should happen to him.

It's a good book for students who don't like to read because the format makes it easy to read. The subject matter is also interesting as you get sort of an inside look at a trial as well as an idea of life on the streets.

I'd recommend it to 8th grade students, boys and girls, but especially those who aren't particularly fond of reading.

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