Book Review: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
I was lucky enough to interact with Sharon Draper not once but twice this fall–at our PCTELA conference in October and at the NCTE conference in November. But it took me until the end of December to read Out of My Mind. Forgive me, it was the busy time of year. I absolutely devoured this middle grade novel about Melody, a young woman with cerebral palsy.
Melody is sassy and smart–the only problem is she can’t communicate verbally, and until she finds a way to procure a Medi-Talker, nobody knows the depths of her intellect. I was also fascinated because Melody has synesthesia, they type where she can hear colors for music. (Another favorite book about synesthesia is A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.)
This book demonstrated how Melody had to negotiate her desires to be “normal” like other kids in her class–like when she invited Rose to go to the aquarium with her family and they ran into other kids from school. The awkward moments were realistic–Draper doesn’t pull any punches in the way some of the other students react to Melody and the other students in room H-5
I was sucked right in to the story of Melody, her family (including her dog Butterscotch, her younger sister Penny) and her phenomenal friends and neighbors, like Catherine and Mrs. V. I admit, I was a little shocked at some of the story twists–I did NOT expect them, so brace yourself for a story with a lot of reality and tough turns.
image from Sharon Draper’s website