How sick is this: I'm the major jock-stud in high school, but my brother has the brain of a badminton birdie and a body to match. I've got everything and he's got nothing. I'm a three-year, three-sport letterman and Shawn can't even stand up! Like I said, sick, huh?
It's hard to be a brother to someone who doesn't even know you're there. How can you talk to him when he can't understand a thing you say? How can you listen to him when he can't speak a word? How can you love him when he's so messed up, he can't love you back? And how can you have a life of your own when your father bailed on the family, leaving you to be the "man of the house"?
Fueled by rage at what has happened to his family, Paul is ready to explode. And he is haunted by something even worse—something he can never tell anyone. It is something he will have to face if he is to have any hope of a future at all. While Cruise Control is a companion to Terry Trueman's Printz Honor book, Stuck in Neutral, it is the completely independent story of a family's "other" son—the one who is healthy, gifted, normal. It is a courageously hopeful story told with power, compassion, and humor.
In Cruise Control by Terry Trueman, narrator Paul, brother to Shawn, the subject of Stuck in Neutral, takes center stage. His direct rapport with readers ("My only brother is a veg. Yep, a full-fledged, drooling, fourteen-year-old idiot") lends an immediacy to Paul's struggle with having a brother who suffers from cerebral palsy and the father who abandoned them. .