Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Publisher: Atheneum
Publication date: March 2010
ISBN: 9781416971702
Source: Library

Out of My Mind 

Melody has never spoken in all her eleven years.  She is stuck in a wheelchair with no control over her body.  But inside her head, she has so much to say!  She deals with the frustrations of misunderstanding and having no voice, but when she finds a way to finally speak out, it doesn't turn out to solve all her problems.  Will she find a way to feel just a little more normal?

Things I Liked: 

This book has spunk and a whole lot of emotion bursting from the pages.  You will cheer and cry and rage with Melody as she faces more than her share of fifth grade challenges.  And yet, you will see how much you fall short of her maturity and strength.  Absolutely powerful and stirring.  And not much else I can say about it that will be more than just gushing.  Here are some good parts:
From the time I was really little - maybe just a few months old - words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade.  I could almost taste them.  They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance.  My parents have always blanketed me with conversation.  They chattered and babbled.  They verbalized and vocalized.  My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.  p 2
These aides - usually one guy to help with the boys and one lady to help with the girls - do stuff like take us to the bathroom (or change diapers on kids like Ashley and Carl), feed us at lunch, wheel us where we need to go, wipe mouths, and give hugs.  I don't think they get paid very much, because they never stay very long.  But they should get a million dollars.  What they do is really hard, and I don't think most folks get that. p 52
Things I Didn't Like:
A few phrases here and there felt just a touch odd.  Like things the kids would say that didn't quite sound right.  Maybe I'm out of touch with fifth graders, but they just were occasionally strange-sounding.  Also, the beginning was a bit slow, since not much is happening - not hard for me as an adult to want to read it, but a kid might not want to continue without much story.

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: *****

Do you think kids will like a story like this? I haven't had any experience giving it to them, so I'm not sure.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. It sounds interesting to mem, but I can tell from the little bit you shared that kids might have a harder time getting into it.

  2. Jenny, too bad since it really would be good for kids to hear the story. I wish I'd had it when I was younger.

  3. I loved this book. I think every class needs to read it and open their eyes more to stereotypes and the kids in their own classrooms. Words can hurt.

    This book was a little gem for me last year! *true love*

  4. A Backwards Story, I completely agree! How wonderful if this book was read in every classroom.

  5. I have read this book twice and I am reading it to a 6th grade class right now. The kids LOVE it. They always want me to keep reading. More importantly, we have had some amazing discussions. They love the character and they hate it when she is treated poorly. We have also had a student in to show off her communication board to them. They all huddled around her as though she was a celebrity. I recommend this book to kids of all ages... and adults too.

    1. I'm so happy to hear your class loves this book! I think it's really important to discuss these situations with them early. And how cool that your class had a special guest too - sounds like they are a great class!


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