Black History Month: 7 great books for teens

5. Monster, by Walter Dean Myers


Monster” by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, 281 pp.) is written in the form of a screenplay by its protagonist, Steve. Accused of serving as an accomplice in the death of a convenience store owner, 16-year-old Steve is in jail awaiting trial. The boy is also an aspiring filmmaker, stunned to now find himself immersed in a world where there is no clear line between guilt and innocence. However, when the case’s prosecutor calls him a “monster,” Steve is able to reject that label and gain a stronger sense of his own humanity.

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