Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stuck In Neutral

Title: Stuck In Neutral
Author: Terry Trueman
Location: YA Trueman
Reading Level: Young Adult

Stuck In Neutral is the deeply moving tale of 14-year-old Shawn. Shawn has Cerebral Palsy and is profoundly developmentally disabled. He cannot eat or move his body without help from his parents. The worst part is that he is very intelligent and fully aware of all his surroundings but cannot communicate at all. Despite feeling guilty for being so dependant on everyone, Shawn remains happy with a positive attitude. Things become problematic when his father considers killing him to put him out of the misery he thinks he's in. Of course, Shawn cannot verbalize his feelings and tell his dad that he doesn't want to die. Stuck In Neutral won the prestigious Michael L. Printz award.

Bottom Line: Giving insight into a little-known disorder, Stuck In Neutral is a beautiful, well-written story of love and feeling helpless. It is one of the most depressing books I have read, but also one of the most profound and moving.

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