Out of My Mind synopsis via Goodreads:
“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.
In this breakthrough story, reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
Main character Melody Brooks is a force to be reckoned with. She navigates the world with a wheelchair, two loving, supporting parents, and Mrs. V, a lively, animated neighbor who will be sure to make you smile. Though she doesn’t have the ability to speak, she has the cognitive ability of a nondisabled ten-year old, and she takes in everything around her, describing her world with a voice that is both lively and vivid. Through Melody’s eyes, readers gain a view of cerebral palsy that is startlingly realistic and accurate.
Things I Loved
- Draper’s Writing Style
The instant you begin reading Out of My Mind, you’re a part of Melody’s world. Draper uses words to paint a picture in your head, and by the time you finish the book, you feel as though you know Melody and the people around her. The dynamic between the characters is realistic and often humorous, and she writes with vivid detail and touching emotion, two things which leave an impact long after you close the cover.
- The Portrayal of Cerebral Palsy
I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy in the way Draper portrays CP. From the frustration that comes when your disability doesn’t allow you to do something you want to do, to the difficulty of getting into public places when buildings are inaccessible, to the pain that being stared at causes…. Draper was right about everything. And as someone who goes through these things each day, I can’t tell you how comforting it was to read about a character who experiences the same things I do. I felt understood, and I felt as though I wasn’t alone. It was refreshing.
- The Technological Aspect
I absolutely LOVED that technology was a part of this story, because technology has opened so many doors for me. A shower seat allows me to be independent in my bathroom, a walker gives me the gift of freedom, and elevators let me navigate stores and other public facilities that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. I appreciated that Draper acknowledged the impact technology has in the lives of those who are disabled, because it plays a major role in allowing us to navigate the world.
What Wasn’t My Favorite
The ending. To me, it didn’t completely finish the story, and it was cheesy. A few conflicts were left unresolved. I understand why authors do that, but she could have executed it a little better. Draper had created an incredible character and an endearing world, and I felt they deserved something better than the ending they were given.
My Overall Rating
Four out of five stars! Despite my opinion of the ending, the story was touching and endearing and one I would definitely read again. I loved reading Melody’s story, and hope to read books similar to Out of My Mind in the future.
What books have you read that you’ve been able to relate to on such a high level?
Also, this is my first book review… I know I have room for improvement. What constructive criticism do you have for me?