This week I delve into the thought provoking OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon M. Draper.
After visiting here be sure to check the links to other selections over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.
Date of Publication: 2012
Word count: 56,872
Publisher description: Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it. From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you’ll never, ever forget.
Five things I liked:
- Let me start with the ending. I think readers are always hoping for a bright, happy conclusion, one that makes our dreams pleasant. Not the case here. It was difficult to read, but what a great discussion starter for kids. Is it realistic? Did you like how Melody, the main character, handled the situation? Do you think it was purposely done to treat Melody in this way? Life itself will never be perfect so this only reminds us of the lessons kids learn very early.
- The cover. Most books use the back cover as place to give some background on the story. It’s done with this book, too, but seeing the change in pictures used on the back and front tell you a lot about how much the protagonist will change in this book.
- I’ve had special needs children in my own classroom and Draper’s writing is spot on and real.
- It’s a story of understanding and acceptance. Many readers will find they have been transformed in their beliefs about kids who struggle with a disability.
- Melody’s voice. Wow. The first person POV never faltered. You were in her mind, experience every inch of the ride Melody takes.
Favorite Line: The morning started out as crystal, but the day has turned to broken glass.
Who will love this book: Girls will gravitate toward this title more than boys. I think it would be especially helpful for those either in education or heading in that direction as a career to use this book as a springboard towards understanding that not all kids learn the same way.