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Out of My Mind Hardcover – March 9, 2010
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Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind--that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.
From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.
A Note to Readers from Author Sharon Draper
People often ask me, "What was your inspiration for Out of my Mind?" I reply, "All great stories emerge from deep truths that rest within us." But the real truth of a story often can be found in places that not even the author has dared to explore. I suppose the character of Melody came from my experiences in raising a child with developmental difficulties. But Melody is not my daughter. Melody is pure fiction--a unique little girl who has come into being from a mixture of love and understanding. Out of my Mind is the story of a ten-year-old-girl who cannot walk or talk. She has spirit, determination, intelligence and wit, and no one knows it. But from buildings that are not wheelchair--accessible to classmates who make fun of her she finds a strength within herself she never knew existed.
I was fiercely adamant that nobody feel sorry for Melody. I wanted her to be accepted as a character and as a person, not as a representative for people with disabilities. Melody is a tribute to all the parents of disabled kids who struggle, to all those children who are misunderstood, to all those caregivers who help every step of the way. It's also written for people who look away, who pretend they don't see, or who don't know what to say when they encounter someone who faces life with obvious differences. Just smile and say hello!
--Sharon M. Draper
From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
As I sat and watched her interact with the other kids at her table, the other kids' interactions with her impressed me. Without fail, they were sweet, helpful, friendly, and even conversational. Chloe will nod in response, but does not speak, and does not make a lot of eye contact. Yet these kids spoke and interacted with her as if nothing was different about her. One of the little girls asked me if I was Chloe's daddy. I told her I was. She said, "Chloe and I are best friends!" I'm telling you I almost lost it there; I had to exercise lots of self-restraint not to cry in front of her. I loved seeing Chloe, who is content to play alone in her room for hours on end, in this setting, with such great support from her peers.
Then I went to help set up for Elliot's 6th grade party and was intercepted by one of his teachers. Almost breathlessly, she said, "I read a book you have to read. It's called Out of My Mind, and I thought of Chloe the whole time I was reading it!" She had told Elliot the same thing, so he read it and told Kelly about it so she read it, and since they liked it so much, I picked it up yesterday. I hardly put it down and finished it in a day.Read more ›
Melody is a delightful, observant girl. Her physical challenges and pure intellect enhance her other senses - she sees, smells, and hears things that the rest of us don't notice. She also has a real gift for reading people, enhanced unfortunately by people's negative interactions with her. She finds enjoyment in life but also is, understandably, incredibly frustrated. I can almost physically feel Melody's frustration, her "tornadoes", with her. The difficulties of not being able to express yourself are unimaginable.
I think every child should read this book. Preferably with a parent or teacher to discuss as the book goes along. Draper does not sugarcoat Melody's life. She is blessed with parents, a neighbor, and some teachers who love her dearly, understand her, and fight for her. Her mother is a true hero. But she also experiences hate and ignorance that no child should have to go through - from other kids, from doctors, and from teachers. The story is often heartbreaking as Melody is let down repeatedly. But her innate sense of self and her loving family also keeps her strong.Read more ›
I loved Melody's voice and her courage, and her first-hand experience of how difficult it is to be different in middle school. Because the whole story is told "out of her mind," it is very readable (and a little humorous), and didn't feel heavy, though a sympathetic and merciful reader will feel sad for Melody, especially when she experiences a big disappointment -- as my 12-year-old daughter did -- much more so than her tough mom. For me, because I had related to her so much, instead of focusing on the disappointment, I rejoiced with her in her triumphs, and the trial seemed not something that was necessarily a result of her disability, but rather typical middle school posturing.
Highly, highly recommended for both adults and 10 - 13 year old readers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose this rating because this book made me laugh and cry, this book has all the ups a d down of any book and so much more. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Anika
This is a story that gives you insight. It is also a story that makes you feel. You feel joy, pain, sorrow & rage. The earmark of all the best books is exactly that. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Melanie A. Burton
What a great story to have my daughter share with me! It really opens your mind and heart in a way you would not expect! I loved itPublished 7 days ago by Suzanne Marple
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Great book to read alongside my 10 year old daughter. She loved it. I recommend it to my friends to read with their kids and my daughter gives it as... Read morePublished 7 days ago by R2cmama
This is a wonderful book. I read it to my fourth graders this year during our social issues unit and I was so pleased with how well they responded to the story and the characters. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lindsay
I'm going into sixth grade and had to read this book. It was a very well written book, and you really feel like the character. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Kent Hermann