Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

#10: Monster

I'm changing the way I format my title. I keep forgetting what book # I'm on and it's a pain to go back and read my previous posts. Hopefully you can still tell the difference between when I post and when Venus posts because our titles are still a little different.

I just finished reading the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers because one of my students recommended it to me. The author is an African American who grew up in Harlem. Because of his upbringing, many of his books address the issues that teens face in that setting. He writes young adult literature which I find very interesting because I spend so many hours with young adults at work. Much of this genre of literature is written to helps teens connect their world to an adult world. The award winning books often address the questions of morality, self-worth, and understanding yourself in a unique and creative manner.

Monster is a book about an African American 16-year-old male on trial for murder. The book is written from the 16-year-old Steve's perspective combining his journals and movie script, written by him, detailing his trial. The book challenges readers to wrestle with questions about guilt and innocence, individual decisions, and racial prejudices. The author skillfully draws the reader into the courtroom, the thoughts going through Steve's head and the pressures of his community. In the end I didn't know what verdict I was rooting for but I better understood the desire that all people, specifically teens, have to be known and to know themselves as who they really are. (This book doesn't touch the spiritual but from the Christian perspective, although not often realized or acknowledged, people ultimately want to know the One who made them and can make them who they really are. Ephesians 1-3.)

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