Paul McDaniel is an A student, an exceptional athlete and a high school senior planning a promising future at Georgetown University. He is also incredibly angry. He is the "other" son: the healthy, gifted, normal one. His 14-year-old brother Shawn is a "veg"-confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy and no way of communicating with the family. Their father recently moved out of the house, leaving Paul and his mother to deal with Shawn. Angry that his father abandoned the family, Paul expresses his rage with extreme violence. Basketball offers him an escape from the pain; but, with fighting he senses a "weird relief." Controlling his anger is crucial before Paul can take control of his life. Stuck in Neutral, a Printz Honor Book, gives a different perspective on this struggling family.
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by Wendy Mass
by Stephen R. Swinburne
by Mary Pope Osborne
by Brendan Halpin, Emily Franklin
by Peter Lourie
by Terry Trueman
"Paul McDaniel, a high school senior, is expertly characterized by Andy Paris in this first-person narrative. Adolescent angst is heightened as Paul fluctuates between anger, compassion, and despair over the plight of his severely disabled brother. Sean's daily seizures and need for total personal care take an immeasurable toll on Paul and his family. As Paul strains with the effort to appear "normal" in the midst of his family's struggle, his rage towards his absent father is made palpable in Paris's delivery of adolescent sarcasm. Paris's performance forces the listener to empathize with Paul's feelings of despair and futility, as well as his developing understanding of the thin line between joy and tragedy. L.H. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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