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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Gift of Life, 31. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stuck in Neutral (Bibliothekseinband)
Rather than focus on what was said in the pages of Stuck in Neutral I want us to examine the heart of the author. Trueman doesn't gloss over the bitter rock hard reality of life. He wants us to get real with our feelings, to lay bare our fears, our frustrations, to tell it like it is, speak the truth. Trueman did the same thing with his narrative poem Sheehan (the precursor to Stuck in Neutral), laying bare his vulnerability, daring to say what none of the rest of us would even dream of voicing to another, let alone print it in a book for the whole world to see. He has done the same with Stuck in Neutral.
If you have read other reviews on this story you should know by now that Trueman is actually the father of such a child. Shawn is a severely mentally disabled victim of Cerebral Palsy. Or is he? That is the question. However, this isn't "just" a story written in the voice of a helpless child trapped in an uncontrollable body; and neither is it "just" an attempt by the author to help the world to see through the eyes of the disabled. Both of those are indeed very worthy endeavors, especially by the father of such a child; but this story goes much deeper.
Behind the pages of this story you will find a father who has been torn to shreds by circumstances beyond his control and still managed to come out on the other end a winner. And not just a winner because he managed to survive, but because he has done something for his son that nobody else on this whole earth could have done, not the medical doctors, not the psychiatrists and not the innumerable therapists who tried to help. His love for this child is what enabled him to place himself inside Shawn's body, to mingle with his mind and muscles, to see through his eyes and create in him a whole new person from the inside out, by the power of the written word. Trueman brought his son back to life. That is the real miracle of this story. Please keep that in mind as you read the last few paragraphs and then you won't have to wonder about the outcome. ELE.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An Interesting Look At Cerebral Palsy, 11. April 2002
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stuck in Neutral (Bibliothekseinband)
"Stuck in Neutal" is a book I hesitated to read. It's the story of Shaun, a cerebral palsy invalid who is much brighter than everyone thinks. His father is a famous writer, and his works on Cerebral Palsy frighten Shaun. Since he was born, he's been an invalid, but a wasted genius. He can read, he can remember everything he's ever heard. During seizures, he can escape the body that's held him back for so long. It's a book worth checking out, I just don't know the exact audience to recommend this to.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 7. März 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stuck in Neutral (Taschenbuch)
Gold Star Award Winner!

I'll admit, right off, that I'm a very opinionated person. I believe that's why I love books that have endings that leave it open to personal intrepretation--I can use my own belief system, my own views on the rights and wrongs of a situation, to concoct my own ending. Whether it be a happily-ever-after or a tear-jerker, whatever ending you prescribe to STUCK IN NEUTRAL will, no doubt, leave you pondering the book for days.

That being said, Terry Trueman is the kind of author I both love and hate. I love the way he writes, the kinds of stories he tells, the way that, with only a few well-placed words, he can make his characters come to life. I hate it for all of the above, in that I can't do what he does! Oh, to have the ability to influence someone so deeply that all they can do after reading your words is, for days afterwards, think about what you've read. It's an awesome talent, and nothing showcases Mr. Trueman's true gift of storytelling better than the life history of Shawn McDaniel, the boy at the center of STUCK IN NEUTRAL.

Shawn is what many people, "normal" people, would call a retard, a vegetable, a shell of a boy with no one home inside. In a way, they'd be right, but in all the ways that matter, they would be horribly, horribly wrong. Because Shawn is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting young men you could ever hope to meet. Although he can't speak, can't walk, and can't even control any of his movements as simple as winking his eyelids, Shawn is, in effect, a genius. He can remember everything he's ever heard--from a television commercial, to a music lyric, to a conversation overheard while waiting for the bus. He's also extremely brilliant, maybe even more so than a "typical" teen with an IQ of 180. Shawn learned to read by listening to his older sister, Cindy, play school. He learned about girls and beer from listening to one-sided conversations his older brother, Paul, had with his buddies on the telephone. He learned what unconditional love is by watching his mother bathe him, feed him, and take care of him every day of his life. And he learned what abandonment, brought on by love mixed with fear, was when his father, a Pulitzer-winning poet, left their family.

To say that STUCK IN NEUTRAL is about Shawn's fear that his father is planning to kill him would be correct, but it would also be wrong. Shawn knows the world only through what he glimpses when everyone thinks there's no one home inside his worthless body, and this book is, more than anything else, his story of life, love, loss, and hope. This is the story that everyone who has ever uttered the words "I'd do anything for my children" needs to read. This is the book that everyone who's ever laughed at the "retarded" kids in school needs to read. This is, without a doubt, the story everyone, for whatever reason, needs to read.

Shawn will stay with me for the rest of my life. My hope is that eventually my two children will read STUCK IN NEUTRAL and be better people because of it. In fact, my hope is that I'll now be a better person after having read it. Yes, it's that good, and yes, you need to read it today. If it doesn't affect you in some way, all I can say is that you're more of a vegetable than Shawn will ever be.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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Stuck in Neutral
Stuck in Neutral von Terry Trueman (Taschenbuch - 24. Juli 2012)
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