Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Out of My Mind

I'm going to admit from the start that because I read Wonder and Out of My Mind at nearly the same time last summer, it's very hard for me not to compare the two in my head, especially when I'm thinking about reviewing them. I will also admit that I prefer Wonder to Out of My Mind, which is not to say that I didn't find a great deal of merit to Out of My Mind. In fact, I would actually recommend that everyone read both because I find both books to be critically important to middle graders, who can sometimes be a short-sighted, cliquish group.

Out of My Mind tells the story of Melody, who has a brilliant mind and photographic memory despite the cerebral palsy that leaves her mute and unable to control most of her muscles. Although her parents seem to understand, to some extent, that she is intelligent, her doctors and teachers treat her as if her mental faculties are akin to her physical ones. Being unable to communicate effectively drives Melody out of her mind...until she is awarded a device that allows her to finally speak.

Draper does a fantastic job of giving Melody a voice. Her struggles and frustrations are apparent and understandable. I appreciated that the author's bravery in allowing an event to happen to Melody that was not easily resolvable. Often times in children's literature you find the main character on the cusp of a negative event, and suddenly, they overcome. This is fantastic in some cases, but life does not always follow that sunshine and roses pattern. I did have a few problems with Out of My Mind: the teachers were horrific, the children's language seemed stilted at times, and the near-tragedy at the end seemed forced. Despite these few misgivings, I did highly enjoy Out of My Mind, and my children loved it. They actually begged me to read it each day. I think we finished it less than 5 days.

You can find Out of My Mind in the Books with Strong Females section of The Book Children Store.


  1. I wonder what kind of research a person would have to do, trying to write a book like that.

  2. I have read a few reviews about this one, and it does very much intrigue me, but I am still wading through Wonder, having burst into tears in the first chapter. I have heard that the teacher is downright awful, which makes me reticent to read it, I don't think I would cope, lol. ( I have worked with disabled children so I think it is just too close to home) but never the less, thanks so much for your take on it, and I will still keep this on my to read list, one day when I am brave. Thanks for joining the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  3. What great books you've chosen to share, Joy. Powerful reads. Letting my daughter who teaches 6th grade know about these. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Stopped by your FB page and liked!