Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

79%

51 Critic Reviews

This book is rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school—but no one knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can't, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write. 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.
 

About Sharon Draper

See more books from this Author
Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author who has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and is a New York Times bestseller. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.
 
Published March 4, 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 308 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Out of My Mind
All: 51 | Positive: 46 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Feb 15 2010

This book is rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by MythicalWorldHunter on Feb 03 2016

This book is beautifully crafted and written with understanding for those people who have disabilities. The description and the story are well thought out and there are parts that make you cry and parts that make you laugh.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by El Camino Academy 6th Grade on Jul 09 2014

Through her book I could imagine every character just as she described them. I recommend this book to kids who enjoy realistic fiction.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Frances Bradburn on Mar 01 2010

Similar to yet the antithesis of Terry Trueman’s Stuck in Neutral (2000), this moving novel will make activists of us all.

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Teen Reads

Good
Reviewed by Norah Piehl on Mar 09 2010

Sharon M. Draper, whose own daughter Wendy has cerebral palsy, clearly takes a sympathetic but not patronizing approach to writing about the disease. Melody is rarely a figure of pity but rather of inspiration...

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Frances Bradburn on Nov 27 2016

Uplifting and upsetting, this is a book that defies age categorization, an easy enough read for upper-elementary students yet also a story that will enlighten and resonate with teens and adults.

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A Book and a Hug

Good
Reviewed by Alexis Cuff on Mar 30 2010

This is a powerful story that will open the eyes of the reader and have them think twice about children that might be different. Independent readers can handle the book, but this would make a wonderful classroom read-aloud followed by great discussions.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Isibeal19 on Nov 26 2016

This book is a heart-warming, suspenseful tale of how you shouldn't make assumptions based on looks. I would recommend it to all; it will open your eyes to a new world of hardships and triumphs. I hope you enjoy Melody's story as much as I did.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by malgal on May 13 2013

I made a lot of connections throughout the book because sometimes I feel like Melody, alone, frustrated, and feel like I’m different than everyone else. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. I give the book this rating because the author was very creative and the story was amazing.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Nov 26 2016

I enjoyed this book because of descriptions, how Melody’s character was portrayed, and the challenges she faced. I would recommend this book to everyone because we all need to realize how lucky we are to be able to do the things that we can do.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by gabby0311 on Nov 26 2016

Draper allows Melody to fill your head with thoughts like, “Wow, I never thought of not being able to talk or walk!” I give this book a four star rating. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a heartfelt story. This book is amazing!

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Story Snoops

Above average
Reviewed by Eden on Aug 10 2013

This compelling story is told from Melody's uncomplaining point of view, and young readers may be surprised to learn that aside from her disability, her thoughts and feelings are pretty much like any other girl her age...

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Helen's Book Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Helen on Oct 13 2010

There isn't anything I didn't like about this book. It is touching, exhilarating, frustrating all at once as you go through a year in Melody's life. I highly recommend this book to adults and youth (middle school and up even though the main character is 11).

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Book Rap

Good
Reviewed by Leo Blumenfield on Nov 26 2016

I definitely recommend this book if you want to read something completely different. It really shows the way someone who has a disability or many challenges feels, and how they conquer those challengesOut of My Mind is like no other book I’ve read...

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Alison's Book Marks Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Alison Skap on Jan 13 2012

It may not give you the whole picture of the challenges a family like Melody's faces each and every day, but it will give you an appreciation for the victories that most of us take for granted. Put OUT OF MY MIND in the hands of your children!

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Shelf Awareness

Good
Reviewed by Shelf Awareness on Dec 01 2010

It’s impossible to close this book without thinking about the world differently.

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Jen Robinson's Book Page

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on Sep 02 2014

I will not forget Melody any time soon, and I hope that many other readers, kids and adults, will be able to get to know her, too. Out of My Mind is something special.

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Novel Novice

Good
Reviewed by Sara on Jan 07 2011

There is enough happiness in the book so that you don’t feel super sad, but enough sadness so that you appreciate what you have.

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Shelah Books It

Above average
Reviewed by Shelah on Nov 29 2011

The story would have been powerful enough without complicating it with tragedies involving other family members. But overall, a great book. I think Annie has read it three times since she got it a few weeks ago. I'd like to see more books written with strong YA/middle grade characters who are learning to live with disabilities.

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LibrisNotes

Good
on Dec 31 2014

Even though Out Of My Mind is written for younger readers, those who enjoy realistic fiction will appreciate the strong heroine in this novel and the positive portrayal of people with physical and mental challenges.

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Ex Libris

Good
Reviewed by Andrea on Apr 08 2011

Read this. It's truly a wonderful book that will change how you view people. A must-have for classrooms too.

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Kevin's Meandering Mind

Good
Reviewed by Kevin on May 21 2012

This book by Sharon Draper is a keeper, and a reason why fiction is both a powerful storytelling medium and a way to teach about life. I know that I, for one, will never look at another student in a wheelchair again in the same way.

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GreenBeanTeenQueen

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah on Jan 18 2011

Out of My Mind is a book I wasn't sure I would really enjoy and I ended up loving it. Melody's story is one that needs to be shared. Out of My Mind is a fantastic tween novel and would be perfect for classrooms and book clubs.

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The Broke and the Bookish

Good
Reviewed by Tahleen on Feb 08 2012

Out of My Mind not only is a great book to read if you're looking for the perspective of someone physically disabled, whether you use it in a classroom or suggest it to a library patron, it also is just a great book to read, period.

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One Librarian's Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa on Jul 05 2011

This book has spunk and a whole lot of emotion bursting from the pages...the beginning was a bit slow, since not much is happening - not hard for me as an adult to want to read it, but a kid might not want to continue without much story.

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Sonder Books Stand Out

Above average
Reviewed by Sondra Eklund on Feb 19 2011

The author didn't go with the predictable, feel-good ending. Although this was probably much more realistic, I did find myself wishing she had. But Melody is determined and smart, and I'm sure she'll overcome anything further that life throws at her.

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Mental Foodie

Below average
Reviewed by Christa on Jan 01 2011

Some characters may be a bit too simplistic or stereotypical, but I have to keep in mind that I am not their target audience.

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Books for Kids Blog

Good
Reviewed by GTC on Oct 02 2014

Middle readers will find this book uncomfortable, yet fascinating, a way to escape their own limited viewpoints of others.

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Her Life With Books

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Tackett on Dec 17 2011

I did not expect Sharon Draper’s Out Of My Mind to keep me tethered to the couch the day I picked it up. It was one of those books you speed through, finish and say…“woah.”

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Mundie Kids Children's Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Alyson Beecher on Oct 12 2010

I highly encourage everyone to read OUT OF MY MIND. I have no doubt that it will be a contender for an ALA/Schneider Family Award (MG) for a character with a disability. This is going on my read aloud list for my students this fall.

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A Backwards Story

Good
Reviewed by Bonnie on Apr 30 2010

If you're looking for something deep and meaningful, check out Draper's amazing book. I hope more students will pick up this title as well; it will really make them think twice before teasing their less capable peers in the future.

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Reading Junky

Good
Reviewed by Readingjunky on Mar 14 2010

Sharon Draper captures the frustration Melody faces every moment of every day.

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Childrens Books Heal

Excellent
Reviewed by Patricia Tilton on Jan 23 2012

After reading Draper’s very moving novel, I believe there are very important things Melody would want you to know when meeting or working with a child with special needs...Out of My Mind is one of my favorite reads this year.

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Great Kid Books

Good
Reviewed by Mary Scheuer on Jan 29 2011

This story helped me develop more empathy for others trapped in similar situations.

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The Musings of a Book Addict

Good
Reviewed by Sandra Stiles on Oct 15 2010

Books that teach us such a powerful lesson and make us look at how we look at others don't come along very often. This book was definitely well written.

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Eva's Book Addiction

Below average
Reviewed by Eva M on Oct 25 2010

Some circumstances seemed a bit contrived - for instance, a dramatic and scary scene involving Melody's sister feels unnecessary, and the obligatory mean girls never rise above stereotypes.

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http://myjdl.com

Good
Reviewed by Tessa on Apr 23 2015

Major emotional moment. No more spoilers—this story has a twist I never saw coming: it really jolted me. Highly recommended.

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Books Besides My Bed

Good
Reviewed by Karen on Mar 22 2011

All in all, I encourage you to check this book out. This book may sit in the Middle Zone of our library but it should be included for all ages above and beyond. Melody's story is unforgettable and her strength shines.

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Not Acting My Age

Above average
Reviewed by Paul on Sep 11 2010

Draper has crafted an easily understood story about disability, pride, and struggle that will appeal to young readers. I got a little tired of the two-dimensional portrayals (the bad people are downright mean and evil, while the good ones are perfect), but one assumes that Draper was aiming down for her audience.

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Warren County Living

Good
Reviewed by Warren County on May 01 2012

This is more than a book about a girl with special needs. It holds up a mirror for all of us to see how we react to people with disabilities that make us uncomfortable.

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Second Childhood

Good
Reviewed by Heather Godbout on Dec 22 2010

Draper's portrayal of Melody and her experiences feels all the more authentic for not turning out picture perfect. 

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Crazy QuiltEdi

Good
Reviewed by Edi on Mar 16 2010

You’ll start reading this book and you’ll wonder how in the world she’s going to get 200 pages out of this girls head and by the time you finish, you’ll want more.

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Voiceless in America

Good
Reviewed by Ms. Hakes on Jun 25 2012

Draper delivers a modern day Helen Keller tale.

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Stacking Books

Below average
Reviewed by Shannon Mawhiney on Jun 10 2012

I hate to give up on books, and I don't often do it, but I could not take this book seriously. ... Melody very rarely sounded like a child.

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Jenny's Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jenny on Apr 27 2012

My favorite thing about Out of My Mind is that is is chock full of lessons without being preachy.

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Mediapprentice

Good
Reviewed by Mediapprentice on Mar 13 2012

Out of My Mind is an excellent addition to any school’s collection of books that help students understand differences.

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What All the Kids Are Reading

Good
Reviewed by TisforTonya on Sep 25 2011

Parents aren't perfect - I like that this book allows the parents to have flaws but shows them still trying rather than giving up on their daughter.

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Teen Writers Blog

Good
Reviewed by Caela Carter on May 26 2011

Out of My Mind is a fascinating look at the power of language and how even it can be trumped by the power of a truly great human spirit. Melody, Draper’s main character and narrator, is a hero.

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Teaching Your High Schooler

Good
Reviewed by Carol on Dec 04 2010

Some of the passages are quite poetic, especially when Melody describes how words feel to her, or how she associates music with different colors.

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Literature for Lunch

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Oct 18 2010

Sharon Draper gives a voice to those who are voiceless, like those individuals at the Saint Joseph Home, in her extraordinary book, Out of My Mind.

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Bookish Blather

Good
Reviewed by Angela Craft on Apr 06 2010

This book is filled with moments of happiness and tragedy.

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Reader Rating for Out of My Mind
91%

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Luana Mitten

Luana Mitten 5 Sep 2013

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