MMGM (8/13/2018): Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

For MMGM, I am recommending Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper.




I haven't read a book as touching and perspective-altering yet not relentlessly upsetting as Out of My Mind in a long time! The novel revolves around fifth-grader Melody Brooks, who is a genius with a photographic memory. There's just one problem: she has cerebral palsy, which makes it impossible for her to speak (she can just barely even move her hands) and traps all of her racing thoughts inside of her. Melody is particularly observant (as anyone would be if they couldn't talk) and appreciates the good parts of her life, such as her loving parents who help her with tasks as simple for others as eating and using the bathroom, her young and physically able sister Penny, and her neighbor Violet Valencia, or Mrs. V, who often takes care of her during the day, teaches her information in addition to that which she learns at school, and pushes her to succeed and not dwell in unhappiness. When Melody's special-needs class is integrated with several other classes and she gets a machine to help her talk for the first time, Melody enters the world of making friends and even participating on her school's quiz team while dealing with people's perceptions of her. Unlike many books, which are usually filled with dialogue between characters, Out of My Mind, especially before Melody gets her talking machine, is filled with Melody's own thoughts about her life. She realistically points out both the lovely and heartbreaking parts of her life, and author Sharon M. Draper makes sure to add in plenty of beautiful figurative language and vivid imagery. I also adored how richly developed every character's personality and history was, even with side characters such as Melody's special-needs or non-special-needs classmates. The ending of Out of My Mind will both break your heart and put it back together (hint: when you finish the book, flip to the beginning!), making the entire journey worth it. If you haven't read Out of My Mind, you're missing out on a book that introduces a new perspective, draws you back in again and again, and makes sure to make your heart hurt at times, but ultimately swell and grow!

Comments

  1. This sounds beautiful! Always love to give my students new perspectives!

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  2. Wow This sounds amazing. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for the review.

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  3. One of my favorite Draper books. I love Melody's sense of humor throughout her story. Look forward to the movie about this important story! Hope it is as good as the book.

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    1. Melody definitely keeps the book more upbeat. Also, I didn't know there was going to be a movie—now I'm excited!

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  4. One of my favorites. The ending really got me, at first unexpected, but it made sense to end it this way. Thanks for keeping this one out there. Everyone should give it a go.

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    1. I agree about the ending too, and that everyone should definitely read this book! Thanks for reading my review!

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  5. What a great choice! It was eye opening to see the world from Melody’s perspective.

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