Synopses & Reviews
In a busy coffee shop, a robbery goes wrong. Two gunmen hold seven hostages, including teenager Zach Wahhsted. What nobody realizes at first is that Zach is anything but ordinary and his troubled mind is more dangerous than any weapon. Terry Trueman has created a compelling character with the same shocking power and heartbreaking compassion as his Printz Honor Award debut novel, Stuck in Neutral.
"Trueman paints a vivid story of three desperate teens that recalls Robert Cormier, with its dark, disturbing theme and a narrative that shifts from one plot thread to another in rapid-fire succession. Sixteen-year-old Zach Wahhsted is battling schizophrenia and the two voices in his head ("Dirtbag" and "Rat") that constantly urge him to commit suicide. As the story opens, he waits at a coffee shop after school for his mother to arrive with his medicine. But before she gets there, two teenage boys attempt to rob the cafe. When the police arrive, the pair takes Zach and a half-dozen others hostage at gunpoint. While the young robbers frantically struggle to figure out how to end the standoff, Zach slowly begins to feel the effects of his medicine wearing off. Trueman, who has utilized a narrator with a compromised point of view before (the narrator suffered from cerebral palsy in his debut Stuck in Neutral), does a convincing job of gradually unspooling the three tightly drawn plot lines Zach's impending mental meltdown, the touching story of what prompted the boys to attempt the robbery, and Zach's background, revealed through excerpted letters to his psychiatrist. Despite the suspenseful story line, this is ultimately a book about understanding and empathy; the climax is surprising, logical and moving. Fans of Cormier will likely enjoy this psychological and gripping tale. Ages 14-up.(Nov.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the author of the Printz Honor novel "Stuck in Neutral" comes the gripping story of a boy whose mind is more dangerous than any weapon.
The Worst Danger is Within
A busy coffee shop --
a robbery gone wrong.
And Zach is caught in the mayhem.
But nobody realizes that Zach -- who has no gun and no knife -- has a mind more dangerous than any weapon.
About the Author
Terry Trueman was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended the University of Washington, where he received his B.A. in creative writing. He also has an M.S. in applied psychology and an M.F.A. in creative writing, both from Eastern Washington University. The father of two sons, Henry Sheehan and Jess, Terry Trueman makes his home in Spokane, Washington, with his wife, Patti. His previous books are No Right Turn, Cruise Control, Inside Out, and Stuck in Neutral, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book.