Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Stuck in Neutral 
by Terry Trueman 
144 pages
Provided by Harper Teen on their website

Book Jacket Summary
Shawn McDaniel's life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle—he can't even move his eyes. For all Shawn's father knows, his son may be suffering. Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn's life is in danger.
To the world, Shawn's senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen—a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.

My Thoughts
This is one of those books that I always end up reading when I know I should not be reading it. I did the same thing with If I Stay and Revolution. I read them when I really shouldn't have. This one kept leaving me with knots in my stomach because of the plot and the great narrative. You really feel for Shawn and his whole life. He is unable to communicate with anyone and no one can see that he can understand everything that is going on around him, especially that his dad is planning on killing him. His father believes it is a mercy killing and that Shawn is in never ending pain but Shawn is just not able to communicate.
This was a hard book to read but it was worth it and I am so glad that Harper Teen had it available to read for free on their website. It was intense and I can see why it won the Printz Award in 2001. This book will draw in a reader and make them see another side of someone they would normally ignore.
This is recommend to everyone book and you cannot deny its worth twelve years later. You cannot say you do not have time for it because it is only 144 pages long! I am also going to be looking for Cruise Control by Terry Trueman because it shows Paul's side of the story (Shawn's brother).

Book Pairings
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper



  1. Its sounds like a tear jerkier. I might have to give it a go. Nice review!

    Beth ^_^

  2. This powerful story raises some difficult ethical issues. Shawn is a compelling and skillfully realized character. At one point Shawn refers to Helen Keller and the play "The Miracle Worker." Like that play, this book is a valuable addition to the body of literature that deals with human disability and human dignity.

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