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INSIDE OUT by Terry Trueman


by Terry Trueman

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-623962-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

A hostage in a coffee shop burglary gone wrong, narrator Zach is a schizophrenic describing events and reacting to a frightening situation with a seeming stupidity that ups the ante. Most characters are shadowy, but the two inept burglars slowly reveal themselves as victims in many ways. The events unfold with an edge of danger that provides riveting suspense. Trueman’s ability to get inside the head of this unsympathetic character is slightly less successful than in his earlier Stuck in Neutral (2000), which was a Printz Honor book. There is some context from letters at the start of each chapter, but the flatness and lack of emotion that is part of a schizophrenic’s outlook is distancing and often makes Zach seem unintelligent. Readers will be unprepared for the ending, but give Trueman credit for attempting to provide some empathy for the “others” of our world who are too easily dismissed and ridiculed—in a plot line that grabs and doesn’t let go. (Fiction. 12+)