Book Review: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
On the outside, eleven year-old Melody seems to be just a girl with cerebral palsy in a wheel chair. Yet inside is a photographic memory and intelligence that goes beyond her years. No one knows it, because Melody can’t talk, walk, or write. For while, Melody is stuck in her mind, until something gives her a voice. However, not everyone wants to hear it.
One of the best things about this book is the author’s writing style. It brings Melody’s world and her story to life with rich sensory details. Melody hears music in colors and visualizes flavors. Jazz “sounds brown and tan, and it smells like wet dirt.” Country is “lemons, sugar sweetened tangy.”
Another amazing thing is this book are the supporting characters. Melody’s mom is like a tiger when she sticks up for her daughter. Mrs. V, Melody’s neighbor, is the most encouraging and kind mentor any kid like Melody could ask for. Last, but not least, Melody’s special needs classmates (forgive me if I use the wrong term) shine with humble and fun traits, such as loving music and wanting to zoom like a race car driver to the moon.
An important trait in this book is its realism. Everyday, kids like Melody are teased or ignored by normal classmates and misunderstood by adults. Not only is it because of a lack of knowledge and understanding, but because of the assumption that any physical or mental limitation equals a lack of heart and soul. This book does a fantastic job of stating otherwise.
I recommend this book to anyone who is around kids like Melody. This is Sharon M. Draper’s best book yet.