Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Flashback Tuesday: Stuck in Neutral by Terry Truman
This past weekend my sister Ann Burg participated in the Hudson Children's Book Festival in Hudson NY. Last week while she was busily preparing for the festival she mentioned some of the authors who were going to be there. I was quite impressed by the well known authors who were attending. I was really excited to hear that Terry Truman was also attending. I loved his book Stuck in Neutral when I first read it. It was brought to my attention when I was a panelist for the Children's Book Council 2001 edition of the Not Just For Children Anymore! catalog. It had a profound effect on me. This story of a boy who cannot communicate to the outside world but whose mind is sharp and full of astute observations is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. As I wrote for the catalog copy of the Not Just For Children Anymore! catalog it is "reminiscent of the adult book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby. It was also powerful to me because it made me think of my father who due to a stroke could no longer speak even though we knew he was aware of what was going on around him. This book gave me a new perspective on what it must be liked to be trapped in your own body without a means to communicate. It is considered a Young Adult book but I feel should and could be read by a younger student. It is a great book to teach empathy and caring for people who are disabled.