Walter Dean Myers, Author, Christopher A. Myers, Illustrator Amistad Press $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-028077-2
In this riveting courtroom drama, Steve Harmon, a Harlem teenager involved in a murder, recounts his trial in the form of a movie script. The objectivity with which he records testimony and flashbacks of events leading up to the crime (""Steve is sitting on a bench, and James King sits with him. King is bleary-eyed and smokes a joint as he talks"") belies the deep emotions Steve expresses in his prison journal: ""I go to bed every night terrified out of my mind. I have nightmares whenever I close my eyes."" Readers will not question the 16-year-old's relationship to the crime; that is established early in the novel. However, opinions will vary as to whether Steve deserves sympathy or rebuke. Myers (Scorpions; Somewhere in the Darkness) masterfully conveys the complexity of Steve's character by presenting numerous angles of his personality. From the prosecuting attorney's point of view, he is a ""monster."" According to a character witness, Steve's high-school film teacher, Steve is ""an outstanding young man... talented, bright, and compassionate."" The only person who does not offer a clear, pat appraisal of Steve is Steve himself. Even after the verdict is delivered he is not able to make sense of who he is: the final image of him filming himself as he gazes into a mirror, searching for his identity (""I want to look at myself a thousand times to look for one true image"") will leave a powerful, haunting impression on young minds. This would make an ideal companion to Virginia Walter's Making Up Megaboy for an insightful look at a teenage suspect's lost innocence. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Show other formats
Library Binding - 281 pages - 978-0-06-028078-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-440731-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-8257-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-8362-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7887-4564-5
Hardcover - 978-0-08-038077-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-21336-3
Prebound-Glued - 281 pages - 978-0-613-35985-6
Hardcover - 271 pages - 978-0-7862-7093-4
Hardcover - 281 pages - 978-0-307-26021-5
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-0-7393-3592-5
Prebound-Sewn - 281 pages - 978-0-7569-0587-3
Paperback - 231 pages - 978-0-7862-7363-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-178288-6
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-178294-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 320 pages - 978-0-06-178291-6
Hardcover - 978-0-06-052186-8
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-86508-290-5
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-0-7393-5556-5
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.