Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers | Book Review

Why Did I Read Monster: A Graphic Novel?

Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile is a book that I decided to read in the beginning of 2016 because it is an adaptation of Myers’s book by the same title, and because I am someone who cannot get enough of graphic novels. Further, with listening to Serial, watching Making Murderer and reading All American Boys, I cannot get enough of media that explores the American justice system, flaws and all. Also – my 2016 reading goal is 250 books and anything that can be read super quickly, shallow as that sounds, is prioritized. This is the sort of book you can definitely read in an hour.

What’s The Story Here?

Monster: A Graphic Novel is what it sounds like – a graphic novel adaptation of the book with the same title by Walter Dean Myers. More specifically it is about this Black teenager named Steven Harmon. Steven is on trial for murder. He is alleged to be an accomplice, because he acted as a look out. So, the novel goes over the trial, but also how the Steven is a filmmaker and he seems almost like a passive viewer in the biggest event of his life so far. If you like stories about the justice system and are engaged when it comes to very important issues the system faces, well this is a good one to read. It certainly challenged a few of my perceptions.

How Did I Like This Adaptation of Monster?

I thought that Monster: A Graphic Novel was an okay adaptation of the book. I liked seeing the story in a whole new form. I do not think that this book added anything new to the story — it wasn’t quite like a movie where you walking away maybe taking in the story in a new light. However, I do think that this adaptation makes the story accessible to a new group of people. I think that maybe this format will make the story more appealing to people who might struggle with literacy – given all the pictures, and that it is a graphic novel. For that alone, I think that this adaptation was worth making. I also liked how this graphic novel refreshed me with the story. There was quite a bit that I did not really remember. I also felt more sympathetic to Harmon on this go around.

How’s The Art:

The art in Monster: A Graphic Novel was all done by Dawud Anyabwile. His art is completely new to me. To me, it looked like pencil drawings or charcoal, I am not an artist at all so I can’t be sure. I thought that Anyabwile made great use of shading and of light and dark. The art is very textured. I thought that the graphics matched the story very well. There were even some symbolic depictions as well. Anyabwile does a superb job in the way that his art interact with Walter Dean Myers’s story and Guy A. Sims’s adaptation.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Monster: A Graphic Novel summed up with a GIF

This gif is perfect because prison actually does scare Steven Harmon.

Other Reviews of Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers:

Jill’s Bookmark - the court scenes became more impactful for me

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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