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Author: Myers, Walter Dean/Sims, Guy A. (Adaptor)
Illustrator: Anyabwile, Dawud
Publisher: Amistad/ HarperCollins
Year Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780062274991
Grades: Grades 7 to 12


Reviewed by:

Walter Dean Myers’ 1999 Michael L. Printz award winning novel has been adapted by Guy A. Sims in a stunning black and white graphic version that stays true to the original. This provocative coming-of-age story focuses on the trial and imprisonment of African American teenager Steven Harmon, arrested as an accomplice to  murder and robbery. An avid amateur filmmaker, Steven tells his story in screenplay format, starring himself as a “monster”, as those accused of such crimes are labelled. Dawud Anyabwile’s brilliant illustrations capture the gritty inner city feeling of the setting, conveying conflicted emotional facial expressions to the satirical responses to political messages and the justice system, and bringing the severity of the story into sharp focus. This visually appealing retold novel achieves many cinematic effects and would entice a new generation of fans in older teenagers, adults, and reluctant readers.

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