What do King, Peaches and Johnny think are the best ways to illegally acquire money?

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In Walter Dean Myers' novel Monster, James King is one of the thugs who planned and executed the convenience store robbery with Steve Harmon, the novel's protagonist. As a young kid in a bad neighborhood, Steve used to look up to King as an older and tougher mentor—which is probably why King was able to convince him to participate in the robbery. In this early scene, readers see King, along with Steve and other Harlem residents Johnny and Peaches, talking about how hard life can be and what they can do to make things easier.

Peaches suggests robbing a bank to get some money, but Johnny disagrees, saying, "Bank money is too serious. The man comes down hard for bank money." He continues with a new suggestion, "You need to find a getover where nobody don't care—you know what I mean. You cop from somebody with a green card or an illegal and they don't even report it" (pg. 51).

Johnny is making the argument that the best ways to get money are by taking it from people that the police and society as a whole don't care too much about protecting. The example he gives is robbing undocumented immigrants, who will be too scared of deportation to report the theft to the police.

Peaches goes on to suggest restaurant owners as good people to rob and then notes that restaurants, drugstores, and liquor stores are pretty much the only businesses left in their neighborhood.

In this scene we see the seed planted in King's mind for the drugstore hold-up that gets Steve arrested and put on trial—the primary conflict of the novel. We also get some insight into the personalities and ethics of the people Steve hung out with before the robbery. They are tough and hard, fully committed to their own needs and wants and unwilling to consider how their actions might hurt other people.

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