It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged but taking my last literature class has me back to blogging. For the first assignment, I’m to write about my favorite YA book and this is an easy, hands-down decision for me: Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
My love of Monster runs deeper than this though; it was the first book I ever taught as a 9th grade English teacher. This book reminds me of Anacostia High in SE, DC and really just takes me to place of contentment around teaching. I love this book for all of the personal growth my teaching experiences brought me and the storyline isn’t too shabby either.
Enter Steve Harmon, a 16 year old who is on trial for murder and robbery. Monster is written as partial screen play that offers a series of flash-backs and glimpses into the plot-line of all the events that went down to land Harmon in his current predicament. Opposite the screenplay is a series of journal entries where we get some solid character development and learn that Harmon is no different than any other teenage boy who thinks about school and friends; a mere child who is incarcerated and misses his parents and teachers.
I’ve book-talked this book with both 7th and 8th graders this year and sold it well to both grade levels. One thing that I like to focus on with students during my book talks are the various text features throughout this book because sometimes, it’s nice to read a novel that is not in paragraph form. To me, Monster is a classic text that I will continue to reference year in and year out.
Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. Amistad Publishing. 2001.