Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper, is the kind of book that should be shared. I read Out of My Mind for a library book club that I attend with my 10 year old daughter and my 11 year old son. Both my kids finished the book before I did and said I would ADORE it.
My kids know me well. Out of My Mind is one of the most moving and powerful books I’ve ever read. When I finished it, I felt inspired and hopeful and in awe of the finesse of Sharon Draper’s story. I found myself thinking about it for days afterward. I found myself talking about the book to friends and strangers alike. I found myself longing to write an impactful middle grade novel. (Up until now, I’ve been mainly a picture book girl.)
In this story, Melody, a fifth grade girl with Cerebral Palsy, loves words, yet she can’t speak. She fails miserably every time she attempts to communicate something important because all she can do is grunt and flail her limbs. She has a photographic memory, yet people patronize and disrespect her because they assume her mental state mirrors her physical state. This book chronicles her experiences with her peers in a realistic, yet poignant way. Somewhat like Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, this book climbs inside the head of someone who is painfully different at an age where differences are definitely not celebrated. Everyone should read this book and discuss it with their kids, friends and parents. This is the kind of book that should be shared.
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