Myers, W. D. (1999). Monster. NY: Harper.
Steve Harmon is on trial for his alleged participation in a drugstore robbery and murder. Steve is in a detention center and tells his story in the form of a screenplay. He is frightened of spending the rest of his young life in prison if found guilty of being the lookout man in the crime. In his story Steve speaks of his love for film-making in school and his love for his parents and brother. Steve is standing trial with the man who is accused of pulling the trigger. His attorney does not give him much hope. After hearing various testimonies Steve decides to take the stand in his defense. This proves to be a good move, as Steve is ultimately found not guilty. This modern realistic fiction story will peak interests of junior high and high school students. It is a good introduction into film-making and also the legal system. Students are exposed to the roles of both prosecution and defense. This opens opportunities for teachers to lead studies in trials, courts, and our legal system. I enjoyed MONSTER very much and highly recommend it for 7th grade and up.