Monster  by Walter Dean Myers


   Walter Dean Myers was born in 1937 in West Virginia.  After his mother died when he was two years old, he was sent to live with foster parents in Harlem.  His foster mother used to read him stories from True Romance magazine, and Myers read all the comic books he could get his hands on.  One day an elementary school teacher caught him, ripped up the comic, and brought him books from her own library to read. 

Myers loved to read and write, but had a severe speech difficulty that created troubles with both teachers and classmates.  He dropped out of high school, joining the Army on his seventeenth birthday.  After getting out of the Army, Myers unloaded trucks, worked in the post office, and took whatever writing work he could find, including stories for the National Enquirer and advertising for cemeteries.  In 1968 he won an award from the Council on Interracial Books for Children for his picture book, Where Does the Day Go?, and his career was off and running.   His first young adult novel, Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff was published in 1975.  Since then, Myers has written more than 30 books, both fiction and non-fiction, and has won many prizes, including the very first Michael L. Printz Award for his book Monster

Myers keeps pictures of his characters on the wall above his computer and writes ten pages a day.  Many of his ideas come from his own life, including his love of basketball and his childhood in Harlem.  For Monster, he did more than 600 pages of interviews with prison inmates and attended a seminar on Criminal Justice.  His youngest son, Christopher, illustrated the book.  Myers has a wife and three children, and currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.    

Visit the Web Quest:


1.      Read the book summary.

2.      Visit the hot sites and consider the book’s themes, events, characters and settings.

3.      Answer the quiz questions.

4.      Look at the rubric to see how the quiz will be graded.

Email: Dr. James Blasingame