A poignant and Inspiring must-read


Melody Brooks (11) has cerebral palsy, a disability that limits her to simply moving her thumbs. Because of this, she has to fight to communicate and let her wishes be known. Now in fifth grade, she has a communication device that allows her to speak with people. She befriends a classmate named Rose, but others bully her because they think she is dumb. When Melody gets a perfect score in a trivia competition, everyone is surprised. Then, she is accepted on the school's trivia team. Even though her peers are maturing and trying their best to accept her, she still has to endure the judgment people have when they see her, and it seems that this will never get better. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (12):
The emotion poured into this story makes it one of the best books I have ever read, which is saying something. Readers are on an emotional rollercoaster, from sadness to happiness to anger, and when it was over, I was begging for more. Melody’s character is also very relatable, because all of us have felt excluded, different, and trapped. The idea continually reinforced is that Melody is always fighting to be accepted. It is reinforced again in the earth-shattering climax, which changed my opinion of everyone in the story. I won't reveal what happened, but I will say I have never been angrier at a character than I was when I read it.

I also liked the family aspect. Melody’s parents do the best they can, and while they may not be right all the time, they are always there for Melody. Her little sister Penny is adorable and I wish we got to see more of her. The chapters she was in were fulfilling. I also liked the symbolism; from the title “Out of My Mind” symbolizing Melody feeling like she’s trapped in her body, to Rose’s name symbolizing her being both sweet and thorny, to Penny basically being a lucky coin. 

This is a definite must-read for people twelve and older; I believe that both adults and kids can enjoy it! Buy it as a gift for the book-lover in your family, or maybe as a gift for yourself. You will not regret it!

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

When a teen reviewer says "buy this for yourself as a gift," that is all that needs to be said. Out of My Mind will pull on your heartstrings with every emotion you know, from sadness and anger to joy and inspiration. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Absolutely none.

Type of Book:
This novel about a young girl with special needs has broad appeal across audiences from upper elementary to adult. It is a high interest / low readability option.
Educational Themes:

Melody is the heart of this book, which explores relationships; challenges and perseverance; prejudice and acceptance; and friendship. Our teen reviewer said that the event near the end changed her perception of everyone in the book. Open your discussion with that question: Did what happened in the story change your opinion about the people in the book? or the book itself?  

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 12
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. The story is inspiring, and once you read it, you will want to share it so you can talk about it with another person.

Title Out of My Mind
Author Sharon Draper
Publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2012 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781416971719
Material Hard Cover
Cost $9.99
Genres Family, Friendship, School, Self Worth, Health - Illness, Growing Up, Specially Abled | Special Needs, Disabilities | Developmental Challenges
be the star you are Cybils
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