Stuck in Neutral MOBI Ë Stuck in PDF \

Shawn McDaniel is an enigma and a miracle —except no one knows it least of all his father His life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him Not even those who love him best have any idea what he is truly like In this extraordinary and powerful first novel the reader learns to look beyond the obvious and finds a character whose spirit is rich beyond imagining and whose story is unforgettable My life is like one of those good news bad news jokes Like I've got some good news and some bad news—which do you want first? I could go on about my good news for hours but you probably want to hear the punch line my bad news right? Well there isn't that much really but what's here is pretty wild First off my parents got divorced ten years ago because of me My being born changed everything for all of us in every way My dad didn't divorce my mom or my sister Cindy or my brother Paul—he divorced me He couldn't handle my condition so he had to leave My condition? Well that brings us to the guts of my bad news

10 thoughts on “Stuck in Neutral

  1. says:

    This book is a frightening little package of really intense ableism and of course it's been heaped with accolades The author's life very closely parallels that of his characters he has a severely disabled son with cerebral palsy and has won acclaimprizes for writing about it and draws much of the material from his own personal experience as detailed in the afterward Most disturbing in light of that is that it's unclear whether or not the disabled character is killed by his father because of a supposed diminished quality of life and the book sympathetically portrays a parent who DOES kill their disabled child I'd hate to be Trueman's real son Watch your back kid I'm sick of literaturemovies that project non disabled people's fears hatred and insecurities on disabled people and then kill us off because of our unsubstatiated suffering which is actually just based on non disabled people's ideas about how our lives should be This book sympathetically argues about killing disabled people and got lots of prizes Ick Ack Bllllllpt Argh Eeeek Hate It

  2. says:

    I have to think for a while about how to rate this book I am definitely adding it to my most disturbing list The plot of this book involves a boy who can remember everything he's ever heard He's clever and mostly happy and loving but he's trapped Trapped inside his body unable to exercise control over anything but his brain The book is interesting from the POV aspect wondering what it would be like to be so intelligent but for everyone else to think you are retarded To be privy to conversations all the time sometimes even conversations about you because everyone either forgets you are there or doesn't think enough of you to place a value on your presence This isn't my review I'll write later but the most disturbing aspect of this book is that the father left the family when Shawn the boy with cerebral palsy was 4because he couldn't handle it and throughout the book Shawn wonders if his father is going to kill him he loves Shawn too much so he might have to end his suffering It is painful to read a book knowing what Shawn is thinking knowing no one else has any clue It is scary and sad and I'm not sure if I liked this book at all However it's definitely unlike anything else I've ever read and it's provocative Okay I'm backThis book is one of the creepiest I've ever read no question Stuck in Neutral is about an intelligent child who is a prisoner in his own body While Shawn's mind is fully functional he has no control over any other part of his body and the entire world including his family believes him to be intellectually disabled Every so often he is struck by a seizure Shawn has come to love these times because he feels like he can break free of his body and partake in the world His father however sees his child in pain Shawn's dad left the family home when Shawn was a child because he couldn't deal with his son's cerebral palsy He also wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning poem about Shawn's birth and early years and still gets lauded for doing so I am not usually into fake award winning writing within novels and I wasn't into this poem The creepy factor came into play when the narrator Shawn informs the reader that he believes his father is going to murder him This short book explores what it might be like for a child inside an immovable body what it might be like as a father who is always wondering what is going on in the mind of his son who can never tell him I won't tell you the ending but I will tell you one thing Terry Trueman is the father of a son with cerebral palsy I cannot imagine what life would be like to be constantly wondering what if anything your child is thinking or to know if they are in pain Stuck in Neutral is absolutely a worthwhile read with a unique narrator I can't guarantee this book won't make you feel awkward but it will certainly widen your perspective a bit 355 starsThis mini review was part of a series of 7 mini reviews of short YA books I wrote for a post over at our blog The Readventurer

  3. says:

    Stuck in Neutral Terry Trueman ISBN 0 06 447213 2 114 pg 699This book Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman is one of the best books that I have ever read It’s about a teenage boy named Shawn McDaniel He has cerebral palsy a condition where you can’t move a muscle in your body and can’t communicate with anyone other than yourself Shawn can only say things through his thoughts in a first person view Shawn thinks of himself as dead like yet intelligent Shawn’s dad can’t see him suffering so he is planning to kill him but Shawn wishes that he could talk so that he can tell his father that he doesn’t want to die Hopefully Shawn's father doesn’t kill him Sad and worried Shawn is between a life and death experience The story has a bunch of twist and turns that will glue your eyes to the book over and over again until you memorize each page each word and each punctuation mark It is an excellent book

  4. says:

    Stuck in Neutral is the story of a young disabled boy who suspects his father of trying to kill him The boy has absolutely no means of communication and is unable to express to his family how he really feels Although he is brilliant and smarter than most his family thinks he has no idea what is going on He feels trapped in his own body stuck in neutral His father struggles with the thought that his son could be suffering and contemplates killing him in order to end that suffering I loved this book I grew up with a brother who has cerebral palsey Even though he is able to communicate I always did wonder about the things he had to go through to deal with his disability This book made me think alot about him and made me realize how much I look up to him I wouldn't be able to deal with the things he has had to live with and still turn out to be such a strong person I also realized how hard my life has been because of the fact that he has that disease and how complicated it can make things Stuck in Neutral is not a book about disabilities or murder but about how far you would go to help the ones you love It will also get you thinking about how much you think you know and how much you really do know You will second guess a lot of things you thought you were sure of I recommend it to everyone

  5. says:

    This is a short book but I still didn't finish it I was too disturbed by the fact that the real author maybe wanted to kill his own son and was using this novel as a way of working through that Also and this is kind of strange the first few chapters reminded me of Bud Not Buddy because the narrator in both is a little kid in a terrible situation who's just so darn upbeat about everything And by upbeat I don't mean optimistic I mean uses a lot of whimsical expression punctuated with exclamation points like Golly and Gee whiz

  6. says:

    Incredible book Terry Trueman is a REAL author

  7. says:

    Sick and twistedThank you Sarah

  8. says:

    Stuck in Neutral is a weird book to read it's essentially a happy go lucky boy named Shawn wondering if his dad's going to murder him for however many pages it is I read it on Futurebook so all I can tell you is that it's a very short book and 20% of it is made up of non novel content Shawn has severe cerebral palsy that causes seizures and ensures he has no control over his body He cannot express himself verbally or nonverbally and he requires significant assistance from others each dayThe first most glaring thing about this book is the fact that it presents as a serious discussion the question Should we euthanize people without their consent because it looks from the outside like their lives aren't worth living? Perhaps it's the Catholic in me but this feels like a no brainer The fact that Shawn cannot live without assistance doesn't make his life invalid and I don't think it's reasonable to suggest euthanizing him when he has no ability to express an opinion on the matter I find it disturbing that it's even a question let alone an award winning issue novelThere are valid questions to ask about quality of life for severely disabled children and their family members and I think books exploring those subjects could be great insightful reads However this book focuses squarely on should we kill this high schooler because he needs significant assistance in his day to day life? It feels reductionist to me that this is the book's overwhelming question and while it gets across Shawn's father's inability to watch his son go through life with cerebral palsy it says nothing beyond that For instance Shawn's mother is given little characterization as Shawn's primary caregiver however she likely experiences struggles that are completely ignored within the text The fact that she would be the person advocating for Shawn to his school and to government agencies they might receive assistance from isn't mentioned nor is the stress of being a single mother to three children one of whom will never be able to live independently It's here that I should mention that the author Terry Trueman has a severely disabled son named Sheehan Perhaps you can spot the similarities to our narrator Shawn Like Shawn's Pulitzer prize winning father he divorced his son's mother after the boy was born and has through this book proceeded to profit off the life of a child he did not raiseBut there are other problems with the book too mostly with Shawn's characterization There were times when his narration was jarring For instance it seemed like a strange choice to have a boy who has never been able to express a feeling to someone else to say emphasis mine I'm the youngest kid in our family three years younger than my sister Cindy and two years younger than my brother Paul who although I'd hate for them to know I admitted it are pretty cool for a brother and sister Trueman is presumably trying to get across that Shawn is a normal kid inside regardless of his appearance but I think he accomplishes that far effectively in other places He also has an eidetic memory which I don't feel added much to the book but presumably provided the inspiration for Sharon M Draper to give her similarly disabled main character the same trait in Out of My Mind Both Shawn and the main character in Draper's book which is also a book about a character with cerebral palsy written by the parent of a child with a disability set themselves apart from their peers in special education as being a sort of secret genius I really dislike that about both books it seems to suggest that disabled children aren't worth writing about unless they have traits that make up for the fact that they're disabledFrom everything included in the back of the book from the fact that the author based the main character on his son to the fact that he acknowledges having felt suicidal for reasons directly related to his role as father of a severely disabled child it sounds like this book needed to be written for the author's own sake I don't begrudge him his own struggles or the need to try and work through his life through fiction However I don't think it needed to be published for general consumption Stuck in Neutral like Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother? feels like therapy disguised as a story

  9. says:

    I didn’t know that this book was so controversial until I Googled it People actually believe that this novel is proof that the author wants to murder his disabled son I’m sorry but that seems idiotic If authors were as twisted as their characters Stephen King would have been in prison 30 years ago Books can’t be written in a vacuum All authors are inspired by real life Just because there are similarities between this book and the author’s life doesn’t mean that somebody’s going to get murdered Be reasonable peopleOkay Stuck in Neutral is the story of fourteen year old Shawn a boy with cerebral palsy Shawn has no control over his body He can’t move or speak Since he has no way to communicate he’s trapped inside his own head Shawn’s father worries that Shawn’s condition is causing him pain that he’s unable to express As Shawn’s father becomes obsessed with his son’s possible pain Shawn starts to wonder if his father is planning on killing himThe summary makes this book sound intense—and it is—but it’s also surprisingly hilarious The novel is written in first person so the reader gets to hear all of the thoughts that Shawn is unable to say He’s very blunt about his situation“There is one final bad news punch line to my life This bad news is complicated difficult to explain In a nutshell it’s that I am pretty sure that my dad is planning to kill me The good news is that he’d be doing this out of his love for me The bad news is that whatever the wonderfulness of his motives I’ll be dead” – Stuck in NeutralShawn’s life is not completely miserable He acknowledges that his medical problem has some benefits For example he gets to see his sister’s friends change clothes at a sleepover because they don’t think he can understand what’s going on Additionally his seizures cause a dreamlike floating feeling that makes him calm and happy He’s taught himself to enjoy the little things in life“Think about it Why should we care whether what makes us happy is just an electrical impulse in our brain or something funny that we see some fool do on TV? Does it matter what makes you smile? Wouldn't you rather be happy for no reason than unhappy for good reasons?” Stuck in NeutralShawn’s sense of humor and positive attitude help tone down the intensity of the book I actually had a lot of fun reading itMy only big criticism is that this novel is very short My copy is only about 115 pages I think it could have benefitted from being longer Shawn doesn’t have an action packed existence but I wondered about the other people in his life Shawn’s mother is his full time caregiver but we barely see her He has a brother and sister who we don't learn much aboutI also had mixed feelings about Shawn’s acceptance of his father’s possible murder plan Realistically Shawn has no choice but to accept it He can’t communicate and he can’t fight If his father decides to murder him he’s going to die but I think that Shawn’s suspicion of the murder plot should have caused angst Stuck in Neutral was first published in 2001 and was a major influence in the teen “problem novel” genre It won awards and got a lot of people talking It’s a brave and thought provoking book It confronts taboo subjects that make some readers uncomfortable such as euthanasia and the rights of severely disabled children and their parents Even though these topics are unpleasant to discuss they’re importantThis book made me think about how able bodied people project their feelings onto the severely disabled I don’t know any severely disabled people in real life so I’ve never thought about this before Shawn’s father sees Shawn’s seizures and assumes that they’re painful He assumes that Shawn’s cerebral palsy prevents him from enjoying life In reality Shawn isn’t bothered by his seizures and he has developed a unique way of connecting to the world This book shows that you can’t make assumptions about a person Just because someone is disabled doesn’t mean that heshe is sufferingThis is a quick and powerful read with an exceptional protagonist I need to find books like this one

  10. says:

    Stuck in neutral is a short but moving book although this book might not be the hardest or the longest the meaning of this book is very strong this book can be read by adults teenagers and children this book is for all ages becuase it shows us the importance of life to a person that you may think is useless the book is about a young boy named Shawn who has cerebral palsy although many people think that he can't do anything or think for himself they are wrong Shawn is actually a very smart boy but because of his condition many people don't see it His father loves him a lot His father doesn't like to see shawn this way and many times he thinks about killing him but never does Shawn knows that his father wants to kill him but can't do anything about it on the last page of the book we have shawn and his father alone and in the fathers hand there is a pillow it osn't clear wether the father kills shawn or if he doesn't i liked this book becuase it made me care about people that have this condition many people may think that just becuase they suffer of this condition they aren't the same as us It made me see that although they might not act or look the same these people are still humans and have the same feelings and may have emotions than we do so for all you readers if you want to read something short read Stuck in Neutral becuase it will leave you a valuable lesson in life to appriciate what you have and me kind to others