Autobiographical elements

As a young man, Myers struggled with a speech impediment that caused many of his classmates and teachers to ridicule him and think him unintelligent.[5] He often got into trouble at school for selling drugs in school and on the streets. When trying to defend himself against the ridicule, many labeled him a “Monster" much like how Steve Harmon was labeled a "Monster."[6] Later, while working as a construction worker, Myers decided to follow advice given to him by his high school writing teacher and began writing at night after work, just as the character Steve Harmon writes throughout the novel.

Myers' novel is also one of very few young adult novels that features a protagonist of color.[7]

The cover artist for the novel is Myers' son, Christopher Myers.

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