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The Monument Hardcover – October, 1991

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rocky, an adopted, partly lame teenage girl, tells how a memorial to her small Kansas town's war dead came to be built and how her vision and those of the other residents were altered by the monument's artist. When Rocky first encounters Mick Strum, he is filthy and disheveled, sleeping off a drinking binge in his dilapidated car. But she is magnetically drawn to this unlikely seer and from him learns to observe freshly and to develop an artist's eye. In contrast to Paulsen's customary action-packed adventures, this novel is chiefly about ideas--featuring characters whose primary function seems to be expressing concepts about art and the artistic process. As such, the story has an over-intellectualized, sometimes pedantic air and may disappoint readers hoping for the gritty realism, veracity and raw power of Paulsen's best works. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-- Figuring she'll never get adopted because of her caramel-colored skin and crippled leg, Rocky finds herself chosen by Emma and Fred, a kind, indulgent, alcoholic couple from Bolton, Kansas. It's in Bolton that she finds her devoted dog, Python, who leads her to Mick, the rumpled artist hired to design a monument to the town's war dead and the person who changes Rocky's view of life, art, and the world. Through the drawings he makes in order to get a feel for the town's people and history, the citizens of Bolton see themselves and their surroundings in a new light, although they're not sure they like it. As Mick does with his sketches, Paulsen tells the story in quick, deft strokes. The gossip at the grain elevator on a summer day, Rocky's insecurities and toughness, and the varied characters are vividly yet succinctly conveyed. In just three days, Mick breezes into town, turns Rocky on to the power of art, and convinces the people of Bolton that a grove of trees will be an appropriate monument as well as an artistic statement. Avoiding a lot of artistic jargon, Paulsen carries readers along with his (and Mick's) strong images and enthusiasm. A powerful, affecting story with its comments on art and homage. --Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Hardcover: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385305184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385305181
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,663,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#43 in Books > Teens
#43 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
Gary Paulsen's The Monument is a very eccentric story of a young African American girl with a leg brace in an orphanage. Rocky (the young girl) feels as if no one will ever adopt her and one day a couple walked in and said that they wanted to adopt her and she fills with a magical feeling inside herself. Rocky lives the life she never thought she would have.In this magnificent book you go on with her through everything that is as new to her as it is to you. By Mackenzie
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stefanie A. Anderson on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although it is a simple story, it is probably my favorite Gary Paulsen book so far. It talks a lot about art, but the real point of the book is a minority, handicapped girl who learns how to see life in a new way and discovers that she has a talent of her own. Along with that is a town that comes together to make one decision that will help it heal and then grow together. This book is short and easy to read, but makes a lasting impression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gary Paulsen's book "The Monument", is about a small town in Kansas that wants to build a monument to honor the soliders who died in all of the wars. The artist they hire for the job, Mick, makes a special effort to get to know the towns people and he draws everything he sees about the town. Rocky, a young teen takes an interest in art and Mick. As she gets to know Mick, as well as art, she also discovers herself. This book presents an interesting view of art from the artist's point of view and gives the reader insight into human nature.
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Format: Paperback
The Monument, a young adult book by Gary Paulsen, is the story of a recently adopted 13 year old girl who encounters an artist, Mick. This friendship changes her life. She looks at her small Kansas town through Mick's eyes and sees everything in a new light. Her leg brace and coffee-colored skin set her apart from the other kids her age so that a tag-along dog she adopted, Python, is her only companion. Mick gives her a book about Degas to study.

The only way to read The Monument is to have Degas' prints beside the book.

Paulsen writes:

But even with that, even with the beauty, I was still trying to work, trying to see the colors and the way Degas had drawn things until I turned the page and just stopped, stopped dead.

It was a painting of a group of young women practicing ballet, called The Dance Master. The wall in the room was green and there was a big mirror on one side for the dancers to see themselves. In the background there is a raised platform or bleachers for people to sit and watch and dancers are everywhere, practicing, stretching, fixing their costumes. On one side there is an older man leaning on a cane--an instructor--and he is watching them, studying them, and still I would have been all right except for the girl.

She was standing to the side of the dancers but almost in the middle of the painting and she is watching them, worried about something, with her hand to her mouth, and I looked at her and started to cry.

She looked like me, or sort of like me, but that wasn't it--at first I didn't know why I was crying. Then I thought of what they were, all of them, dancers, and that all of what they were was gone.

The painting was done in the late eighteen-hundreds. They were all gone. All dead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was twelve, living in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1987 our outstanding sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, read Dogsong and Foxman aloud to the class in order to prepare us for a visit from the actual author to our school. I would've preferred Beverly Cleary at the time but I still remember the impressions I came away with after listening to the stories of Gary Paulsen.
Flash forward to the year 2000 where I was introduced to this heartwarming book in a college class for elementary education majors. I've read it several times since then and even though Paulsen will never be my favorite author, the romantic figure he creates with the character of Mick and the sympathetic Rocky make this story very believable and just plain fun to read and revisit every few years. It's a very fast and easy read. The plot is weak and Gary's own free indirect discourse inserting his own subtle views about art and war are easily overlooked. Anyone ages 10 and up will appreciate this book but for all young boys I'd recommend some of Gary's other adventure and survival stories first if this is their first introduction to his books.
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A Kid's Review on May 21, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
The book The Monument by Gary Paulsen . This book is about this about this girl who is an orphan who gets adopted by Fred and Emma. Her name is Racheal. Her parents drink but there still great people. While she goes out and walks around she saves this dog and the dog becomes her best friend . she names him Python. She also meets Mike they become friends also. Mike is an artist he drinks but he finshes every thing he starts. MY opinion is that these book is great .If your a person who likes a good and intresting book you should read this book .This book is for people who like art . If your aperson who drinks or is addicted to something but finish everything you do this is a book for you.
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