Crime all the Time

By Katie Koth


Talk about a whirlwind story! If you’re looking for a story about character development, violence, and an inside look in to the life of an L.A. gang member, than Monster is the book for you! Monster Kody Scott was initiated into a Crips gang at the young age of eleven. This to me was insane. At eleven years old, I was in the fifth grade. You are so vulnerable and innocent at that age. That’s probably why he could be manipulated so easily by the Crips. Children tend to listen to what they are told, regardless of whether it is uplifting or true. I think that’s why these Crips drew in younger boys, so that they could establish loyalty early.

However, being in the gang wasn’t enough for Kody. He had to prove his loyalty and prove he was tough enough to keep his spot. Everything eventually fell into place for him when he beat up a guy. The police saw the man’s injuries and claimed that only a monster could have hurt someone that badly. Clearly the Crips liked this, and decided to call him “Monster”. Monster’s reputation grew and grew, and he became one of the most famous gang members around. Nothing stood in his way, and he even shot people and was shot. Eventually, he was arrested, but not for killing people. This surprised me. Out of all the violent acts he had committed, and out of all the murders he had done, he was arrested for a robbery. Talk about ironic.

Reading about gang life is like reading about a parallel universe. Every moral we have been taught growing up is reversed in a gang. We are told to respect other people, not to get angry, and be friendly. Gang members were required to prove their loyalty, and they would earn higher spots on the “totem poll” for their violent acts. It’s just so crazy to think about an eleven year old boy being raised in this environment. I don’t know.

The book concludes with a resolution. Monster reflects on his violent ways and seems to learn from his mistakes. He joins the C.C.O., and vows to try to live a better and more wholesome life. Talk about coming full circle.


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