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Inside Out Hardcover – August 12, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 117 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTempest; 1st edition (August 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066239621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066239620
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,419,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-When two teenage brothers attempt to hold up a Spokane coffee shop where Zach, 16, is waiting for his mother to bring his antipsychotic meds, he is among those held hostage. Thus begins this slender, but harrowing novel that depicts the standoff between the desperate pair and the police outside-all narrated by Zach, who is driven by impulsive outbursts, hateful voices in his head, and difficulty with processing reality. Chapters open with a brief passage that illuminates the history of his illness and suicide attempt, and interventions by his mother and psychiatrist. A phone call from the police to the robbers results in freedom for the others, but Zach, now overdue for his medicine, agrees to remain hostage. An odd bonding ensues among the troubled teens, all of whom are portrayed sympathetically. With no ammunition in their guns, the brothers are basically decent boys, scared and worried about their single mother's unemployment and cancer. Tension builds when one of them is wounded by a stray police bullet. They surrender, and Zach is reunited with his mother, his meds, and the simple comfort of a maple bar he had craved. A stark news article three months later imparts word that the unexpected hero of the crisis has committed suicide, the victim of his tragic illness. Trueman uses Zach's narration to challenge readers to feel the confusion and dark struggle of schizophrenia. The effect is disturbing, if somewhat didactic. Both the grim topic and strong language in this edgy novel suggest a mature audience.
Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Sixteen-year-old Zach isn't frightened when two armed teenagers hold up the coffee shop where he's waiting for his mother. "The thing is," Zach says, "I'm used to seeing and hearing really weird stuff." In his second novel, the author of Stuck in Neutral (2000) takes readers inside the mind of a schizophrenic teenager. Excerpts from Zach's psychiatric records interweave with his first-person account of the dramatic robbery, offering readers the medical facts as well as Zach's personal story, especially the terror and confusion he feels when he can't distinguish between the real and the imagined. The narrative blend isn't entirely successful. The facts often feel clumsily inserted, and Zach's unreliable voice doesn't allow his story to develop fully. The shocking ending also feels tacked on. But Trueman sometimes captures moments of heartbreaking truth, and his swift, suspenseful plot will have particular appeal to reluctant readers. Suggest Angela Johnson's Humming Whispers (1995) and Lisa Rowe Fraustino's Ash (1995) for more nuanced stories about a young person living with the illness. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
This book has been a hit with both genders and readers at all ability levels.
Sally
This book is a wonderful mix of a fast-paced story with action, tense moments of anticipation, and characters that the reader can identify with immediately.
Jarrod T Thompson
It's a look into mental illness that will leave you wondering what you can do to be more tolerant and understanding.
TeensReadToo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sally on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a teacher with students who are reluctant or low-ability readers, I am always looking for "hot" books which appeal to high schoolers, especially males. This book has been a hit with both genders and readers at all ability levels. I loved it myself! The interesting part of the novel is the fact that the narrator is schizophrenic, so we see the plot events and people through his eyes. The humor and twist in perspective makes the crime plot more intriguing. The novel could also be used in a classroom which was studying the theme of teen justice since the "criminals" are teens with an overwhelming life crisis. Inside Out is a wonderful read just for pleasure for teens and adults alike, but I especially recommend it for those teens who "hate reading" and "have never read an entire book" in their lives. Multiple copies been checked out with a waiting list in my classroom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Long gong...barrelcracker... barrel...barrel o'monkeys...wong-gong."

"Time...grime...pantomime...long-gone wong-gong is a wong-gone long gong..."

These words may seem strange and convoluted to you, but Zach Wahhsted hears them in his mind day in and day out. Zach has schizophrenia, which causes him to hear voices. He finds that if he takes all of his medication on time, the voices go away and he has fewer problems getting through the day.

All Zach wants is a maple bar as he waits at the local coffee shop for his mother to bring him his meds. But before she can deliver them, Zach finds himself a hostage in the middle of a holdup gone wrong. The longer he goes without his medication, the more difficult a time he has keeping in touch with reality.

Hours after he is supposed to receive his medication, Zach agrees to stay behind as a hostage while the boys he calls Frosty and Stormy let everyone else in the coffee shop go free as part of a deal with the police. Reality begins to slip away, and the voices in Zach's head grow louder as he tries to stay alive and get out of this mess.

Complex and chilling, Terry Trueman's picture of a schizophrenic's mind alternates between lucid and hallucinogenic. Often, the reader's feelings towards Zach are as confused as Zach's thoughts. Every word in this small book is powerful and gripping. Don't be surprised if you find yourself out of breath at the end.

--- Reviewed by Carlie Kraft Webber
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jarrod T Thompson VINE VOICE on September 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Trueman has done it again! Inside Out is an amazingly intense read.
The main character, Zach is perfectly framed in a bad situation, a hold up, but nothing could be as bad as the battle Zach has going on in his mind. Zach suffers from schizophrenia and tries very hard to do what is perceived to be "appropriate" in our society.
Trueman manages to create a character in Zach that is unforgettable. This story MOVES so fast, it is over before you know it. I could not put this book down.
Trueman's ability to draw the reader in and make each character, major or minor, an important one is unparalleled.
This book is a wonderful mix of a fast-paced story with action, tense moments of anticipation, and characters that the reader can identify with immediately.
To top all of that off, Terry Trueman has alerted the public about the horrors of schizophrenia.
You have done it again Terry Trueman!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on August 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
" 'Zach, you're a stupid wong-gong, a long-gone wong-gong.'
"I ignore this, but while I'm sitting here being quiet, my palms are sweaty and my throat is dry. I need to decide if this situation is real or not; I need to decide that right now. Sometimes I understand what's going on, and other times I don't have a clue. If I don't figure this one out, I could be in trouble."
According to the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression:
"Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe brain disorder which affects approximately 1 percent of the world population. Approximately 2 million people in the United States suffer from the disease in a given year. Schizophrenia is characterized by positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and markedly disorganized behavior. Negative symptoms include reduced emotional expression, social withdrawal, loss of pleasure, difficulty concentrating and/or thinking, and a lack of energy, spontaneity or initiative. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and preventing psychotic relapses. Schizophrenia is usually treated with antipsychotic medication, and may be used in combination with psychosocial therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Many scientists believe that schizophrenia results from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and are investigating various neurotransmitters in determining this imbalance."
Sixteen-year-old Zach Wahhsted suffers from adolescent onset schizophrenia. He waits at the coffee shop after school each day; him mom picks him up there up at 3:30 and gives him his medication.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Justin on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read the first three pages of "Inside Out" and knew I had to read the whole thing. The characterization is flawless, and the book gives an impeccable depiction of schizophrenia, and what's even more amazing is that the book is written in first person, giving you a more personal feel for what it might be like to not know what's real from what's fake. You finish this book with a new found empathy for people with schizophrenia, and what they have to endure.
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