"Monster" Walter Dean Myers
I was never much of a reader, but this is one of my favorite books from my youth. It follows the story of 16 year old Steve Harmon, a young black man in Harlem, who has been arrested for acting as the look-out in a robbery that resulted in a murder. He acts as the narrator of the story, and writes it in the form of a screenplay. He faces the horrors of jail, being tried as an adult, and possibly spending the rest of his life in prison.
Steve must come to terms with who he really is, and how his current ordeal plays a role in his life. Is he being punished for something else he might have done?
Why does Steve do the things he does and associate with the people he does.
Race in New York:
Groups of people are separated by class, race, culture, wealth, etc...Steve and most of the other characters are black, and lack resources access to better resources because of the way people choose to cut themselves off from one another.
Race in the Judicial System
There is a sense in the prosecution that because Steve is a young black man from a poor neighborhood, he "likely" played a role in the shooting.