Author: Sharon M. Draper
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 9th 2010
Genre: Contemporary MG/YA
Source: Won from MaryAnn from Chapter by Chapter - thanks!
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It makes me sad how few YA books there are about people with disabilities. There's Girl, Stolen about a blind girl, and Five Flavors of Dumb, about a deaf girl, but Out of My Mind is the only YA (or MG? not sure as what to classify this) book I can think of that's about an MC with disabilities as severe as Melody's. And Out of My Mind has shown me that we desperately need books like this one.
It was fascinating to read about someone with cerebral palsy, to see what everyday life is like for them. I feel bad about it, but to be honest, I haven't given it much thought how difficult every little thing must be for someone with a condition like Melody's. It was interesting to see what Melody has to struggle with, but also how those struggles can be dealt with. But Melody is so much more than her disability - I grew to love her as a person. Sharon M. Draper nailed her voice - it is so real, I felt like I'd known Melody all my life. She perfectly balanced Melody's struggles because of her disability with Melody just being Melody, an incredibly strong 11-year-old girl.
What's best about Out of My Mind is how many emotions it evoked in me. It made me sad for Melody, of course, but it also made me hopeful and just happy to be alive. And it made me angry at all those people who don't treat Melody with the respect she deserves - I know I won't look at a kid in a wheelchair the same way I would have looked at him before reading this book.
The family storyline is really well-done. Seeing how this affected the family was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, somehow. I also loved reading about Melody's special needs classmates. I would have liked to know even more about them, but I kind of don't mind that we don't, since this is Melody's story.
I don't even know what else to say. This is an important book, and I know Melody is a character I won't soon forget. Read it - you won't be sorry.
Do you know any more books about a character with disabilities?