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Life Happens Next Hardcover – August 21, 2012


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Life Happens Next + Cruise Control + Stuck in Neutral
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062028030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062028037
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This sequel to Stuck in Neutral (2001) is short but packs a punch. Readers will certainly remember Shawn McDaniel, who is profoundly disabled. He is unable to speak or control his bodily functions, and he can’t make anyone understand that despite appearances, he is something of a genius, aware of everything that goes on around him. Written in the same smart voice, the book allows readers to see life through Shawn’s eyes, not only the frustrations but also the gratitude for what life has to offer him; for example, a mother who loves him and, yes, clean socks. Then the unexpected happens: a relative with Down syndrome, functioning at the level of a five-year-old, is taken in (along with her dog, Rusty) by Shawn’s mother, and for the first time, Shawn feels like there are two souls who understand him. Shawn’s grand mal seizures allow the book to take a mystical turn, which provides a satisfactory way of completing Shawn’s story, especially for those who’ve long waited to learn what happened next. Grades 8-12. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

Terry Trueman grew up in the northern suburbs of Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of Washington, where he received his BA in creative writing. He also has an MS in applied psychology and an MFA in creative writing, both from Eastern Washington University.

Terry is also the author of Stuck in Neutral and its companion novel, Cruise Control; Hurricane; 7 Days at the Hot Corner; No Right Turn; and Inside Out.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
This was a very moving book.
Morgan
Most importantly, we are allowed to see inside Shawn's dream world and his spirit self when he is able to blissfully escape his physical trap during seizures.
Virginia Bigler
Trueman has such compassion and a wonderful understanding of how precious life is to us all.
Kathy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fehlbaum on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW. This look into the inner workings of Shawn McDaniel, a profoundly disabled 15 year old, blew me away. Terry Trueman advocates for those with disabilities simply by making them as human as everyone else. Seems like a harsh thing to acknowledge-- that able-minded/bodied people fail to see the other-abled among them as not-quite-human, doesn't it? But it's necessary to admit that we do this. LIFE HAPPENS NEXT has the message that even if others look or process thoughts differently, they deserve recognition of having the same dreams, feelings, and longing for to be touched. The message is loud and clear without being the slightest bit preachy or sad. Knowing that Terry has a profoundly disabled son makes Shawn's story all the more poignant to me. I will never look upon a person such as Shawn in the same way again--which has been quickly averting my eyes and acting as if they are invisible so as not to "stare". LIFE HAPPENS NEXT is a story that screams in a voice that cannot speak, "I am here. I am loved. I matter."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Egger on February 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Life Happens Next" is a courageous story because it addresses conditions like CP and Downs...yet the story flows so nicely that these serious disabilities seem secondary to the interesting personalites of the main characters. It takes a creative person to write a story like that. Congrats to Terry Trueman for this heartfelt story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on October 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I read Life Happens Next on Audible, whith Johnny Heller as the narrator. Trueman has such compassion and a wonderful understanding of how precious life is to us all. I listened to Heller read the first book, and that was really great, but this is superb!

It's easy to think we know what is right for someone else, but this book makes me treasure life so much more. I didn't read the Kindle edition, as Kindles don't work well for people with vision impairment who can't see the menus. I have the app on my computer, but would rather listen to a human voice. But, I'm buying the Kindle edition for my best friend who teaches kids like Sean, and values each one of them.

I think the author has grown in his own appreciation of life in general and lives like Sean's in particular. Truly a fantastic read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana Yavorski on June 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really provided an inside look into mental disabilities and physical disabilities. We read it for a college "Individuals with Exceptionalities" class, and learned a lot from it. I would recommend this for anyone who desires to become sensitized to the issues of Exceptionalities. It's a must read for all educators!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Morrison on November 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a jr. high librarian until recently. Terry Trueman has never disappointed a reluctant reader at our school. This book is a stand alone and delivers a powerful lesson about why we have purpose in life - no matter what the circumstances. Love this author for this age group and older.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on June 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was a very moving book. Shawn has cerebral palsy, and cannot speak or move any of his body parts on command. Due to this, everyone thinks he is a "vegetable" as Shawn put it. However, he is actually very smart. No one knows that though, because he is not able to communicate.

This book was written from Shawn's perspective. It was really cool to see his thoughts about life and about his situation. It made you think twice about lots of things, and learn not to take your life for granted. That really struck something in me.

There were a few other characters in this book, and we got to see them all through Shawn's eyes. Sometimes he really loved them, and other times he was annoyed with him. It was cool to see everything from Shawn's view. He still has emotions and thoughts like everyone else. There was one character named Debi who has down syndrome. Shawn is very annoyed by her at first, but comes to form a unique friendship with her. She has an awesome ability to understand Shawn by observing him closely. She is the first person who truly understands that he is smart, and that he actually has thoughts.

Shawn ends up seeing a person in his dreams, and doesn't know why. Even after we find out who the person is, I didn't quite understand it. I felt like there was no point in the book. While it was beautifully written, I felt like there could have been so much more. I would have liked to see the author elaborate on the story, and develop a more in depth plot. I think great things could be down with this topic.

4 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
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