All member reviews for Monster

Common Sense Media says

Provocative book about teen on trial for murder.
 

Users say

(out of 34 reviews)
age 13+
 
Review this title!
Teen, 15 years old Written bykeenay March 8, 2012
 

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
Parent Written byconservative mother June 3, 2011
 

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
Parent of a 7, 9, 12, and 13 year old Written byConservative Mom November 10, 2009
 

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
Teen, 14 years old Written byPufferpuff September 5, 2009
 
I love it:) It makes me realize da true world.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byteach26 March 26, 2009
 

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.
Teen, 14 years old Written bypanda_bear13 April 9, 2008
 

I LOVE THIS BOOK.

I have just barely started to read this book. it's right, it does make you have pity for Steve. i do want to continue reading this book. it seems good.
Adult Written bymonkeysmd August 26, 2011
 

Good

What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 2, 6, and 14 year old Written byadnetn March 1, 2009
 

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.
Adult Written byemmae June 25, 2015
 

School

We read this as a class, at school. It is great!!! One of the best books I've ever read, for school. Of course I do like the books I actually get to choose, but for being "forced" to read it, it's amazing!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byMediaXpert April 13, 2014
 
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
 

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
Adult Written byJosieKiper April 7, 2011
 

Good, but not fully appropriate for younger teens.

It was a decently good book, but some of the side topics may not be age appropriate if you are under 14 or 15. Being as how the maturity level of teenagers has risen through out the years, 13 may be acceptable too. The amount of swearing is very low, although some words are a little bit rude or harsh. I personally think the book was pretty good, and I would reccomend it to someone between the ages of fourteen and twenty.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 15 year old Written byallihamp March 8, 2011
 
i think the book was good it teaches you a lesson about robbing a store that its not a good idea
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byt.r.reader December 6, 2010
 

Such a shame to rate this as "iffy"

If there's an infrequent use of "mild to moderate" language and implicit or passing references to sexual activity, I'm unsure why this book would be rated so highly for sex and language. Violence? Of course violence is part of "Monster;" the story is about a young teenager on trial for aiding in a robbery which results in murder. I rate this as appropriate for ages 13 and up not for any "controversial content," but because Myer weaves such a complex story, following the protagonist, Steve, as he struggles to understand how he's come to this point, his overwhelming trial, his dreams in life. Readers are left to figure out Steve's guilt or innocence; Steve himself must grapple with who he is versus what others see him as. Though these questions are never explicitly asked, Myers' story encourages readers to consider how we view young, urban black men; how these perceptions are internalized; justice; how a life (potentially) derails. "Monster" is a quick read that will draw in reluctant readers with its mixed journal and screenplay-style narrative, but be warned: it not only entertains (because let's face it: it's just a darn good story), it also gets kids and teens to think.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written bysave_the_tigers! April 9, 2008
 

This book is AWESOME!!

I haven't even finished reading this book and I already think it's awesome! Everyone must read this book or they shall be sorry! It's packed with so many interesting comments and events. A definent page-turner!
Teen, 14 years old Written byANTONETTE April 9, 2008
 

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