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October 30, 2008

Cruise Control

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Cruise Control

Author: Terry Trueman

Page Length: 149

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Fiction


PLOT SUMMARY: Paul McDaniel is a star athlete in high school. His life seems perfect, but it isn’t. Paul keeps bottling up his rage over his family situation; unfortunately, when he lets his rage out he is in danger of completely losing control. On the one hand, Paul loves his brother and longs for a typical relationship; on the other hand, he hates the conditions having his special needs brother in his life has created for his family. Paul’s dad left the family and now he’s the man of the house – unwanted responsibilities that are affecting his future. Will Paul ever break free and can he ever forgive his father?


REVIEW: This book takes a real look at what life might be like for a family with a severely handicapped child. Through Paul’s emotions we experience his anger at not having a normal life, his disappointment in his father’s inability to be the man of the house and handle the situation, and his anger with himself over not being a better brother and ever even thinking about wishing that his brother didn’t exist. Powerful and raw — this book is moving and very real.


AREAS FOR TEACHING: description, imagery, word choice in writing, mood, tone, author’s purpose, sequence of events, cause and effect, internal conflict, external conflict


TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: Foul language interspersed throughout the story


RELATED BOOKS: Stuck in Neutral, Inside Out, No Right Turn


RELATED MOVIES: “Rain Man,” “Gaby,” “Touched by Love,” “Door to Door”





REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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