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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

35Melody Brooks was born with Cerebral Palsy, a disease that effects your brain and prohibits your ability to move parts of your body like your tongue or legs. Although Melody can’t talk or walk or run like other fifth graders, she doesn’t deserve to be stuck in a wheelchair learning ABC’s over and over. Melody is actually incredibly smart, her memory is perfect and although she can’t speak she is already surrounded by thousands of words. Melody thinks she might be isolated forever, stuck in her own mind with no one able to understand her, up until one day when finally her rich vocabulary can come to life using a special computer that will speak for her. With her new technology, Melody just wants to fit in but that can be hard when you don’t look or talk like any of her fellow students.

What I Thought of Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind is one of the most popular books for sixth grade in my school and for good reason. The plot is strong, the characters are well-developed and it deals with the unique subject of disability.  First, I’ll start out with the plot. Although it wasn’t the most fast-paced book I’ve read, it wasn’t slow or choppy and the progression through events seemed realistic. For instance, it didn’t feel like a big explosion was happening every chapter, until the end, when I think the author should have further spread out the drama. Next, I’ll talk about the characters. I liked them! They didn’t feel manufactured and I thought Melody’s classmates treated Melody as kids most likely would.  Additionally, Melody clearly grew throughout the story from being angry and isolated to forgiving and understanding. I think she really dealt well with her disability,  and this was inspirational for readers.

One memorable moment in this novel is when Melody gets her Medi-Talker. I didn’t really know how depressed Melody felt about not being able to talk until then and it really helped me emotionally connect with her. Additionally, I think this raises awareness about kids with Cerebral Palsy and helps others understand the challenges they face and respect the obstacles they overcome.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars