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CRUISE CONTROL by Terry Trueman

CRUISE CONTROL

By Terry Trueman

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-623960-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Angry Paul is the brother of Shawn, the severely disabled narrator of Trueman’s Stuck in Neutral (2000). Paul is an overachiever with straight A’s and is the top athlete in the school. He’s the quarterback, the third baseman and right now the go-to guy in hoops. Paul’s mad at his dad for leaving the family while they struggle to deal with the burden of caring for Shawn, mad at the world for the way it sees Shawn, and mad at himself for not being the brother he would like to be. Mom does nothing to help Paul feel free to pursue his own interests and future, nor does sister Cindy’s patience with Shawn. Dad is gaining fame for his discussion of the issues around disability, and Paul’s fury and disgust focus on him. Readers who know Shawn from the previous encounter will enjoy an added layer of understanding, but every reader will understand Paul’s frustrations and fears. A minor plot line relating to Paul’s shooting partner Tim helps to illuminate the ways in which anger can change lives. A riveting read with a sports flair that resolves too quickly to be quite realistic. (Fiction. YA)