Monster is the story of Steve Harmon, a black youth put on trial for murder during an armed robbery gone wrong. The story is told through Steve's journals and his screenplay-formatted reflections on the trial. An aspiring writer, Steve struggles to create a moral framework for himself as the trial progresses and his cohorts testify. Eventually he is found not guilty while another of the boys is sentenced to life in prison. Steve reflects on his choices and decides to pursue writing.