Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review #45: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Title: Out Of My Mind

Format: Hardcover Review Copy
Publisher: Atheneum Books (Simon and Schuster)
Genre: Young Readers
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7170-2

Release Date: March 9, 2010

Rating: 9/10

My Review and Description:

I picked this one up at my bookstore. We get a handful of ARCs that I take a peak through from time to time and this one called out to me. I am a fan of fiction for young readers between the ages of 8-12. I am fan of older young adult titles as well but the age level below I tend to find sweeter stories, stronger messages and hopeful endings. Kind of like childhood before you go and become a teenage and get all angsty and full of acne like I did. :)

Sharon M. Draper is an amazing author and has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Award multiple times. She not only writes amazing books, she also speaks at conferences and is a former high school English teacher. Click above on her name for her website.

Out of my mind tells the story of Melody, an eleven year old girl who has cerebral palsy. The last line of the first chapter is what stuck with me long after I had finished the book. "I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old."

Melody is trapped within her own mind and her voice throughout this book is wonderfully endearing as we "listen" to her struggles and accomplishments. Her family is strong and supportive and nurturing but are learning as they go. They believe in Melody and her abilities but yet they struggle just as much to figure out how to tap in to them.

Melody is a sponge. She knows more than you or I but academically she has never been given a chance to shine. But a Whiz Kids Competition comes up at her elementary school and she scores a 100% on the practice test. Stunning fellow students and teachers, they "welcome" Melody to compete.

I won't give too much more of the story away but overall Melody is a dear to read about. She doesn't have it easy but her outlook is so brazen and honest that you just want her to make it. What really makes someone smart? Why are appearances so important and almost enough for people? How frustrating would it be for you if you literally could not speak your mind?

Out of my mind is refreshing and heartwarming, emotional and powerful. Some "disability" lies within all of us, some of more obvious than others but how we cope and communicate and plug away is what makes us who we are. Melody could teach us all a few things about grace.

I would recommend this book for fans of Lois Lowry or Sharon Creech. If you have a young person in your home or life, this would be a good learning read for them.

Happy Reading!

red headed book child


Jenny said...

This sounds like a great book to help understand cerebal palsy a little better! Thanks for the review!

Tales of Whimsy said...

OOo I love LL.
Interesting recommendation :)
Thank you!

Staci said...

I have this one on my list to read. Sounds incredible!! It does remind me of a YA book, Stuck in Neutral. If you haven't read it you should...phenomenal!!!

April (BooksandWine) said...

I'm currently reading a book by Draper -- Copper Sun. I really enjoy the way she writes and definitely want to pick up Out of My Mind. Although it does sound kind of like a tear jerker, but I do enjoy having tears jerked out of me.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Jenny, it certainly gave me a better understanding of cerebal palsy. :)

Juju, if you like Lois, you will like Sharon Draper. :)

Staci, I'll have to check out Stuck in Neutral. I havent' heard of it. Thanks!

April-It's tear jerker but it also warms the heart in the end!