Myers, W. D. (1999). Monster. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Walter Dean Myers writes a story in a way of a screenplay. This is Steve Harmon's first-person account of life in prison during his trial.  Steve is accused of being an accomplice in the murder of a store clerk, but he claims he's innocent. In order to tell his story, and to bear with his reality, Steve writes his experiences as a movie.  Furthermore, Myers adds journal entries to depict Steve's emotional strife and his desire to detach himself from such a life and reputation. Steve also perceives that his own lawyer is struggling with believing that her client is truly innocent but pushes through to defend him until trial is over. 

Steve struggles with his identity, disappointing his parents, and the reality of his choices.  As a reader, it's difficult for me to ascertain whether Steve is truly innocent or guilty by association.  And the end of the novel can be argued to have the same feelings of uncertainty and lack of closure.  His lawyer struggles to see the good in him, causing Steve to doubt his ability to be rehabilitated.   Myers explores the ideas of self doubt, a sense of belonging, disappointment, and emotional survival

Bad Boy is also a memoir of Myers himself.  He discusses being discriminated against in 1940s Harlem.  In this book, Myers describes a young man's journey to belong and the difficulties he faces in the process.

In this video interview, Walter Dean Myers expresses the importance of reading.

Requirement: Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Cover images from
Video found on YouTube by PBS Newshour