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Monster : Introduction

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  1. Monster: Introduction English II McLeod

  2. About the Author: Walter Dean Myers • Born in West Virginia in 1937 • Mother died when two; moved to Harlem with foster family; spent time on basketball court and at library • Foster mother taught him how to read; began writing poems and short stories in the fourth grade • Severe speech impediment, writing became a wonderful form of self-expression rather than fighting • Dropped out of high school and joined army at 17; worked odd jobs but never stopped writing • First break in 1969 when his first children’s book, Where Does the Day Go?, published. Has since won countless awards

  3. Author Interview • 
”I think my life is special. In a way it seems odd that I spend all of my time doing only what I love, which is writing or thinking about writing. If everyone had, at least for part of their lives, the opportunity to live the way I do, I think the world would be a better place. • I believe that everyone is intelligent. I believe that everyone can be creative. I like just about everyone I meet. For me, life has been good and it's up to me to appreciate it. I hope that the next book, story or poem that I write will be worthy of the time the reader spends with it. If it is then my life is successful. If it's not, then I'll try again. “ •

  4. Setting: Harlem • Major African-American residential, cultural and business center • "Since 1970, an exodus of residents has left behind the poor, the uneducated, the unemployed. Nearly two-thirds of the households have incomes below $10,000 a year. In a community with one of the highest crime rates in the city, garbage-strewn vacant lots and tumbledown tenements, many of them abandoned and sealed, contribute to the sense of danger and desolation that pervades much of the area.”—New York Times • Rapid gentrification began in the late 1990’s

  5. Harlem

  6. The story begins… • Steve Harmon, 16-year old black teenager charged as an accomplice to murder • Passes the time in prison writing his story as a screenplay • Is he a monster, or merely in the wrong place or at the wrong time? • As his lawyer Miss O’Brien tells him, “You’re young, you’re black, and you’re on trial. What else do they need to know?” •

  7. Monster: Reviews • "Chilling and engrossing" 
-The New York Times Book Review • "The sheer authenticity of the novel and its presentation are disquieting - and totally riveting" 
-Boston Globe • "A riveting courtroom drama that will leave a powerful, haunting impression on young minds." 
-Publishers Weekly

  8. Awards and Accolades • National Book Award Finalist • Coretta Scott King Award • Award for Excellence, Young Adult