Friday, May 17, 2013

Out of My Mind An Important Story for Us All

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Melody Brooks hates being treated like an idiot.  Just because the 10-year-old can't walk or talk doesn't mean she can't think.  In fact, with her photographic memory, plus a sensory condition that makes her experience the world more fully than other people, Melody is probably the smartest kid in her elementary school.  Too bad no one but her will ever know it.  Most people, especially other children, can't see past Melody's wheelchair—they don't realize she's not just a gawk-worthy freak, but a real person with feelings, thoughts and ideas. 

Without a way to communicate more complex sentences than "I'm hungry" or "I have to go to the bathroom," Melody's not sure how to share all the things brimming inside her mind.  And it's making her crazy.  She has so much to say, she just needs a way to get it all out.  When an opportunity's presented that will allow Melody to do just that, she's ecstatic.  A little terrified, too.  What if people don't want to hear her thoughts and feelings?  What if her classmates just make fun of her more?  Can Melody find the courage to express herself, even if she says things no one else wants to hear?  

I read Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper not just because I loved its premise, but also because my 11-year-old daughter's been raving about how amazing it is.  The book didn't blow me away quite as much as it did her—still, Out of My Mind offers an important and thought-provoking story about the assumptions we often make about people, especially children, with special needs.  It also says a lot about the need for caring, positive teachers, doctors and therapists as well as parents who believe in their children no matter what limitations they might have.  Out of My Mind is a novel for any child who's ever felt misunderstood and for any adult who's ever wondered what goes on inside the heads of the kids they're rearing and/or teaching.  Really, it's a story for all of us.   

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Wonder by R.J. Palacio)

Grade:  B

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for subject matter most suited for kids 10 and over

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Out of My Mind at Deseret Book.      


3 comments:

  1. Yes! I loved this one. It made me think and that's always a good thing. I love that your daughter loved it too, as I think it's super important for kids to read!

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  2. Interesting story and its great that it struck a chord with your daughter. thanks for the recommendation.

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  3. We liked this one too! Here's a link to our review of it if interested: http://ourstack.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-my-mind-by-sharon-m-draper.html

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