All member reviews for Monster

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

Common Sense Media says

Provocative book about teen on trial for murder.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 33 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written byJesse419 July 6, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Eye opener

Good Book. Took me an hour or so to read it. This was my first time reading a Walter Meyers book. I think it is appropriate for 8th or 9h graders. It can open there eyes a little. As for the sexuality, violence and language I think it sets the tone of the book without going over board with it because lets face it teens to early adulthood say far worse. I think a lot of ppl in general have been faced with some kind of peer preasure or wanting to excepted in there life and from what i got from it that's what this book was about. A teen growing up in Harlem who wants to be excepted by the so called "tough guys" of the neighborhood, but at the same time wants and has a bright future a head of him and from one mistake brings his hopes and dreams to a stand still of the possibilty of spending a very long time in prison. It was clear that he was guilty and pretty much just got lucky. This book shows teenagers and young adults what could happen if you get caught up in the wrong crowd and give in to peer preasure. This is a extreme case of just that but this kind of thing happens everyday, not just with ppl in Harlem but ppl from any where. I think more teens and young adults need to have there eyes opened to such things. We all know what it is like to be in similar circumstances maybe just not so severe. My thoughts are that Steve did participate in the crime. Maybe he chickened out at the last moment maybe he didn't but he did participate and in result was involved in felony murder. King knew he would participate because he knew Steve looked up to him. Osvaldo participated because he wanted to make a name for himself. King Participated because he looked up to Bobo. Bobo did it, well because he wasn't right in the head. King might have not shot the clerk but this is what happens when you hangout with ppl like them and think they are loyal because 99% of the time they're not and will tell lies on you/ rat you out to save there on behinds. That is pretty much what they all did. Bobo, Osvaldo and King all did that to get lighter sentences. Steve just lied and said he was no where around these guys and barley knew them when it was aparant he did and hung out with them. He got lucky. Do I think he should have got 25 to life? No, but I do think he should have been punished. Robbery is a serious thing. I know none of them expected it to go down like that but that is the risk you take when you do something of this nature. What I hope young readers get out of this book is this, all these kids were bad. There was no hero of this story. These kids commited a horrible crime, lied, cheated in anyway not to go down for it. Those so called "Tough guys" that you might idolize, hangout with or want to be like might not be so tough when the heat is on and authorties of any stature start asking them questions and acussing/ bust them. Names will start spewing from there mouth and they won't have an ounce of regret. So stay clear from stuff like this. Check your priorities and take a look in the mirror. It just shows how quick incidents take to spiral out of control and you're on the other end fighting for your life.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byHarryPotterandW... July 9, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great book; Easy to handle

I had to read this book for school, and I have to say it was good! It's formatted differently than most books which will appeal to non-readers. It was also a pretty easy read, but mature at the same time. The inference to sex and rape was mildly brief and if you are a young teen or older, there's no reason you can't handle it. Steve is a good role model, staying strong through the trial and never giving up on believing he's not guilty. A book everyone should read!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Adult Written bytheatreteach September 12, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
This story does deal with racism and a little bit of violence and sex, but it is very educational and interesting. Definitely a worth while read.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 7, 9, 12, and 13 year old Written byConservative Mom November 10, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Inappropriate for under 17!

As a parent, I am so disappointed that my child's teacher assigned this book and now she will be ostricized because I will most definately NOT allow her to read this book. The author could have told the story minus the graphic sexual attacks and other violence. Why expose my child to those things at her age (13)? The book is shallow and without merit.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byteach26 March 26, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Appropriate and Necessary

First of all, the sexual references in this book are so slight and passing they are negligible, and second--there is nothing "immoral" or wrong with sexuality. It is a part of life. This book tells a heart-wrenching story of a boy on the cusp of adulthood, facing decisions that most adults never have to make. While he is determined to be a good big brother and role model to Jerry, his little bro, he is also sucked into the street life of his older acquaintances. As a new high school teacher, I will most definitely be requiring my students to read this book.
Parent Written byconservative mother June 3, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Excerpts from the book, not for my 8th grader.

Questionable Content: Excerpts PAGE: 36-37 ZINZI (A male child) “These guys were…sexually harassing me, sir.” BRIGGS “Sexually harassing? Were they calling you a sissy? What does sexually harass mean to you?” ZINZI: “They wanted to have sex with me.” BRIGGS: “So to save yourself from being gang raped- Is that what they wanted to do to you?” ZINZI: “Yeah” PAGE: 43 “I’ll get me an Uzi and blow his brains out.” PAGE: 50 “He is smoking a blunt” PAGE: 57 Inside the detention center; “We hear the sounds of fists methodically punching someone … we see two inmates silhouetted, beating a third.” “…and the sounds become those of a sexual attack against the inmate who was beaten.” PAGE: 73 Death Row, death camber; “Open your legs; we have to plug up your butt so you don’t mess yourself as you die.” “Steve’s face grimaces with pain as they put in the plug.” PAGE: 105 “She found out I got another girl pregnant.” PAGE: 107 “You have to fight a guy who’s already in the club to show you got the heart.” “You got to leave your mark on somebody.” PAGE: 121 “They killed a little girl just about 2 months ago and she was just sitting on her stoop.” PAGE: 139 “First I was scared of being hit or raped.” Monster, continued. PAGE: 140 “Everybody in here either talks about sex or hurting somebody.” PAGE: 143 “There was a fight just before lunch and a guy was stabbed in the eye. The guy who was stabbed was screaming, but that didn’t stop the other guy from hitting him more.” PAGE: 149 “King is bleary eyed and smokes a joint as he talks.” PAGE: 203 “I can understand why they take your shoelaces and belt away from you when you’re in jail.” I find this book totally inappropriate for 8th grade, there are so many other books to choose from. I do not want to explain what a gang rape is to my 13 year old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old January 4, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

a book with advice

It's a very good book with strong messages. If you keep getting into trouble, it becomes a habit. And your actions become worse as well as the consequences that follow. Just follow the rules and don't lie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written bymonkeysmd August 26, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Good

What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byodem13 April 25, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
i had to read it for my 8th grade reading class and it is really good. as for the language and sexual stuff you hear worse every day in school
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byTamaraClarke85 September 25, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

About Middle School

I like because it tell you realty.GOOD BOOK!!!
Teen, 15 years old Written bypollenine January 7, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

the book to read love and never forget - monster

i think that this was the best book that i have ever read i would have recomended this book to other people because i and them can learn from it. the book teaches a lot about what can happen to you if you were in steve situation and it teaches you that you should do babd or you get bad so that is the reason why it think its good.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byjeennnaaaa101 November 23, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
I love this book. I'm in 8th grade and read it as a class. Although it talks about robbing, smokin, and getting a girl pregnant does'nt mean very much. It shows the consequences of each of those things done. Monster has a few themes; Be true to yourself and Think about your tomorrows. This book is a lesson learn and that you shouldn't give in to peer pressure.
Parent of a 2, 6, and 14 year old Written byadnetn March 1, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Outraged and Appauled!

I am outraged and appauled that my son was required to read this book in school. Sexual references are immoral and entirely inappropriate for any reader - much less a high school student. Don't waste your time.
Kid, 12 years old January 23, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Wake up and smell the coffee

1.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've seen a lot of parent reviews that say that this isn't appropriate for a 13 year old. I even saw one that claimed the book was 'shallow'. Wake up and smell the coffee, people. Welcome to real life. If your child is in 8th grade, I will guarantee that they have heard this kind of language before. Are there sexual references? Yes. Did that make me and does that continue to make me uncomfortable? Yes. But if you only read things that say the world is perfect, and exactly how you think it is, you will never learn anything. --------------------------------------------------------------------2.The general consensus seems to be that kids love this book for telling it like it is, and I agree. I read this accidentally in 5th grade, not realizing what it was, and loved it. This is a hard book to read. Ultimately, the sun comes out, but you are left uncertain about Steve's innocence. There are references to rape and teenage sex, but it's really no worse than language used in a middle school. I highly recommend this book to strong 5th grade readers and above.
What other families should know
Educational value
Educator and Parent Written byMediaXpert April 13, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Tense, Well Written, and Expressive.

THE BOOK: Monster is about 16 year old black Steve Harmon. He is on trial for a murder that he is ALMOST sure he did not commit. It portrays the reality of the American judicial system, and how it mistreats minorities. THE RATING: While this book wasn't exceptional or moving, Walter Dean Myers does a good job with the entire book. It conveys how scared Steve is; the courtroom intensity; and how unpleasant prison is. AGE: Rated PAUSE for 12 and up for violence, blood, disturbing images, and implied sexual content. Some people believe that because this book has mature content, it is not good. And indeed, there is violence, blood, sexual content, and drug material, but it isn't over the top; it's in the context of the story.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Written byAnonymous March 26, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Predictable: with a great message

GENERAL OPINION: I love Walter Dean Myers, and with this book it seems that he has stepped outside of his comfort zone for this one. He usually writes in a casual, humorous way. However, this book is tense and dramatic. It is still a very enjoyable book. It is about 16 year-old Steve, who is black, and is on trial for the murder of a drug store owner. Throughout the book, Steve can't seem to come to a consensus with himself about his guilt/innocence. The whole book (except for Steve's journal) is written as a movie script, which I believe keeps it unbiased. The details are clear in the script, however the details that Steve provides in his journal about himself are murky. This book is a very good discussion starter, especially if you play "jury". ABOUT THE RATING: I think 4 stars is a reasonable rating for this book. It was good, but nothing exceptional. I didn't feel that I was "involved" in the book. It was also predictable. I wouldn't imagine Walter Dean Myers having a negative ending for one of his books. Don't get me wrong though: this book deserves a place on your bookshelf. ABOUT THE AGE RATING: I believe that this book doesn't convey a "great" message, but it does convey a message: and that is the reality of the American justice system, and how it mistreats minorities. This book is iffy for children under 12. Keep in mind the whole book is about a murder trial, and includes detailed descriptions of people dying, getting shot, stabbed, beat, and raped. There are also descriptions of blood that are graphic and somewhat disturbing. However, a young teen should be able to handle this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Written byAnonymous March 23, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Rated OFF for strong violence and blood, references to people killing another and not being remorseful, and references to violent crime including rape and murder.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byMattyboy292 November 30, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

I am amazed at what people will do to keep their child in a "perfect" life

I personally see why parents would not want thier kids reading this, but it has a very postive message. Stating that jail is it worth any amount of money. Isnt it a part of the American constitiution that we have the freedom to read what we want, to your parents dicression.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byVictoria13wm May 8, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

monster great

Monster is a very good book. very educational for the young black males.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bykeenay March 8, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

learn from your mistakes teenagers

i think this a great book that teenager can read to grt there life together
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Pages