I would begin by reading pages
1-5. (It will grab there attention.) Can you ever imagine being
in this situation. This guy has everything. A family an interest
in school in making movies. When he finds himself the lookout for
a convenience store heist everything spirals out of control. You'll
love reading this screen play about a "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers. (Karen
If an older audience, ask participants
how they envision jail for juveniles. What kind of people would they
meet in prison? Ask them if the know the procedures of a criminal
trial. After this discussion, put them in a situational position
and ask what they would do if they were put in jail before trial.
How would they face family and friends? How would they protect themselves?
Introduce this book and ask what they think the relevance of the title
and how it would be used in this book. ("Naomi Bates" <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon
is in prison while being tried for participating in a robbery during which
the storeowner was killed. If convicted, he could get 25 years to
life in prison. Steve knew the other men involved in the crime.
One of the men cut a deal for a reduced sentence and puts Steve at the
scene. Is Steve a monster as described by the prosecutor, or an innocent
guy who hangs with the wrong people? You be the judge. (Mary
Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX email@example.com)
Steve Harmon is on trial.
He could get 25 to life. All for something he swears he didn't do.
He's accused of being a lookout for a robbery gone wrong. During
the robbery, the store owner is killed. Now Steve is facing felony
murder charges. As we read about Steve's evenings in jail, we see
a terrified 16 year old who is caught up in something too big for him to
understand. Each day he is brought back to the court room and
tries to understand what is going on. His lawyer doesn't seem very
optimistic about his chances of getting off. There are too many witnesses
who testify that he is involved. Told in the form of a movie script
that Steve writes, we see a different Steve than the jury sees. We
see that he may not be a monster after all.