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Extended Audio Sample Monster, by Walter Dean Myers Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00004407033626 out of 53.00004407033626 out of 53.00004407033626 out of 53.00004407033626 out of 53.00004407033626 out of 5 3.00 (22,691 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Dean Myers Narrator: A Full Cas Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve’s own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

Fade in: Interior: early morning in cell block D, Manhattan Detention Center.

Steve (voice-over): Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I’ll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster.

As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers’s writing at its best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A riveting novel…Myers leaves it up to readers to decide for themselves on his protagonist’s guilt or innocence. The format of this taut and moving drama forcefully regulates the pacing; breathless, edge-of-the-seat courtroom scenes written entirely in dialogue alternate with thoughtful, introspective journal entries that offer a sense of Steve’s terror and confusion, and that deftly demonstrate Myers’s point: the road from innocence to trouble is comprised of small, almost invisible steps, each involving an experience in which a ‘positive moral decision’ was not made.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 2000 Michael L. Printz Award
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book
  • A 2005 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee
  • A 2000 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 1999 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book
  • A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction
  • A 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rachel | 2/19/2014

    " If I could give this book 2 and a half stars, I would. I usually don't come up against a book that I don't really appreciate. I typically at least like the style of the writing or the voice, or something. The quality that stuck out for me about this book that saved it from a lower rating was the ending. I had a hard time reading the book because of the style of writing: courtroom, movie script, and journal inclusive. After the first 160 pages I would have stopped if I hadn't had to read it. I found it almost tedious, and may be should have attempted to read it in more than one sitting. This work does prompt a good many questions and allowing the reader to draw conclusions from the ending is good as well. While it was rough for me to read the entire book, once you've read the whole thing it allows the ending to have the impact that I believe the author intended it to. The ending of the "movie" is brilliant and the end of the journal is very well done, especially for the adolescent lit genre. You are able to see the main character's struggle to find who he is as he processes through what he perceives as how other people (who are important to him and have a considerable amount of "power" to influence him) perceive him. Steve's struggle with being in jail and not feeling like he belongs there, and that he's lost his reality is very relate-able to those going through some sort of major life change of a dramatic, or unexpected variety. Overall the ending and the types of struggles and the problem presented were what I appreciated about this book. The last thing I will mention is the premise of the book itself. I'm not sure if this story is actually realistic or not. Maybe I'm just not familiar with the court system, but it seems to me that this case would not have actually proceeded through the courts. Allegedly, Steve was a lookout man for a robbery. After checking the drugstore for customers and cops, he left and never went back and never received any of what was stolen. After Steve left, the robbers went in, the clerk pulled a gun, there was a struggle, and one of the robbers shot and killed the clerk. Now Steve, a 16 year old minor with no priors, is being charged with felony murder and tried as an adult. If convicted of being the lookout, he could receive the death penalty. Or at the least 25-life in prison. I have trouble with believing that this 16 year old boy could be given the death penalty for casing a drugstore, then leaving. Especially when two others involved in the robbery are not facing major consequences because they ratted first and are testifying as witnesses. That just sounds a little too fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Greg Bartlett | 1/30/2014

    " A discretion to parents to know that this book is about a teen on trial for murder. While part of the story is told as a movie script, it includes a very realistic writing approach, with both poor and proper grammar used appropriately for each character. The photographs contribute to making the story realistic. There is some rough material such as characters are beaten up, the rape of inmates is implied, and Steve is terrified of being sent to prison. I thin that this story will appeal to even reluctant readers. I think the reader will enjoy debating whether Steve's guilty or not.I recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alexandra Jennelle | 1/14/2014

    " A bit difficult to get into because of the screenplay style with minimal introduction. I thought it was hard to keep some of the characters straight and I don't know that I would have been able to do it without the narrative sections sandwiched between scripts. Style aside, the content of Monster is sad and tense, and the book's ending has haunted me since I finished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Melissa Strong | 12/15/2013

    " Myers creates a unique story which details the struggles of a young teen fighting for his life in jail. Steve Harmon has been charged with felony murder and is on trial for his life. This novel details as Steve might say "the true happenings of a teen fighting to stay out of jail and for his life". Myers really captures the emotions and actions of the story within a uniquely written novel. Monster is written within a screenplay form akin to TV shows such as Law&Order. Through this perspective readers of Myers' novel can almost feel as if they are viewing the story. The novel is very visual. Myers creates a spellbinding picture of Steve Harmon's life. Complex themes as well as complex feelings are revealed in a convincing teenage voice. "

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