Out of My Mind

Winner of the 2012 Beehive Book Award for Children’s Fiction

Written by Sharon Draper

Melody is a 10-year-old girl in 5th grade. She has never spoken, walked, or written a word. She has cerebral palsy and must deal with a life trapped in a body that doesn’t let her do what her mind would like it to do. Blessed with parents, a neighbor, and a student teacher who can see her intelligence, Melody’s life suddenly changes when she receives a communication device that finally allows her to speak, showing the rest of the world who she really is. But now her abilities frighten the “normal” kids in her class, and Melody feels even more isolated than she did before she could communicate. When her contribution to the school’s Quiz Team vaults them to the national finals, jealousy amongst the students increases. Can Melody really have a “normal” life with friends and school activities, or will she be separate and unaccepted forever?

Since my granddaughter has cerebral palsy (CP), I was very interested in reading this book. Draper does a good job of sharing the daily challenges that parents of children with special needs face. She also gives hope to those of us who have children like Melody that one day children with severe CP will have a voice. The tragic twist at the end will force the reader to examine his or her own conception of children with special needs and what it means to be “normal.”

Review by Rosanne Markham, West Lake Jr. High Media Center
Rating: 4 Stars
Interest Level: Grades 5-9


Out of My Mind
Written by Sharon M. Draper
Atheneum / Simon & Schuster
295 p.
ISBN: 9781416971702
Release Date: March 9, 2010

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2 thoughts on “Out of My Mind”

  1. This book is great!! a must read for every teacher. I have asked students to read this book and they love it. It’s a great book to teach about bullying also. Melody will warm your heart and her baby sitter and parents gets thumbs up for believeing in her.

  2. I haven’t read this book. But, I have heard about it from several people. The story is endearing. It makes you want to laugh and cry. This is on my must read list.

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