4.5 Hearts · Children's Literature · MG & Kids Lit

Out of My Mind By Sharon M. Draper


From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes Out of My Mind, the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write.
“If there is one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it.” (Denver Post).

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom – the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it – somehow.

In this breakthrough story, reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.

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Reviewed by Syd Jack

According to The Columbus Dispatch, “Those who read Sharon Draper’s most recent novel probably will never again look at a child using a wheelchair the same way.”

Melody is an 11-year-old girl. She has cerebral palsy, so she can’t talk, walk, or write. Almost no one knows how smart she is. Many people think that she is also mentally disabled. But she is very intelligent, and can remember nearly everything. Melody’s world is changed when she discovers the Medi-Talker, a device that allows her to voice her thoughts. Even though, Melody knows that most people still consider her to be more different than she really is. Can she explain to her classmates (and the rest of the world) that she’s not so unlike them?

This is no sci-fi or fantasy novel, but it is funny and, at the same time, emotional.

Melody has many struggles, but she wends her way through them. She’s brave and clever. Her story will definitely delight and move you.

One interesting main theme in the book, which is good for us to remember in our lives, is that even though people with disabilities seem to be drastically different from the rest of us, they really aren’t, except for the fact that they have trouble with or cannot do a specific thing or many things that come naturally to most of us, like talking, walking, and seeing.

I liked that this book was written in 1st person point of view (which means that the words “I” and “you” are used, and we can only see the thoughts of one person, usually the main character). Melody’s character is very interesting and enjoyable.


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Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.For more information about Sharon Draper click HERE.

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