The Monument records a brief, odd, but important acquaintance between a teen-age girl and a middle-aged freelance artist. Their instant, intense friendship plays out against a background of small town political squabbling over the value and meaning of a public monument.
The action occurs over a few hectic days during a crucial summer in the life and education of thirteen-year-old Rachael Turner, known better as Rocky. Her transformation begins when she meets Mick Strum, itinerant and free-spirited, who has come to a small Kansas town to design the war memorial. In frenetic preparation for a town meeting, Mick sketches the people, animals, and places, with results that often surprise and disconcert residents.
Watching Mick at work, Rachael discovers her talent for art; under Mick's imperious tutelage she begins to draw.
She watches amazedly as Mick survives bar fights and angry town meetings to bring the monument into being: a...