"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."
Author Sharon M. Draper has done a superb job at creating a unique character that you can't help but love and root for. I loved every second that I was engrossed in this book, found myself learning a lot, and was completely mystified at how Ms. Draper got Melody so well. Melody is really the perfect character. She's witty, articulate, will teach the readers something, and also suffers from a challenge that she works very hard to overcome. You don't feel sorry for Melody, but rather, you want her to succeed...a feat which I believe few authors could really achieve in their writing.
The actual plot is written wonderfully, throwing in some nasty kids, a great babysitter, and a quiz show, allowing for an interesting story and an intriguing character to become a truly wonderful book. The pacing was just right... I never felt the book was dragging and was always intrigued at what Melody was going to say (or think) next. Kids are really going to enjoy her as a character.
Out of My Mind could make a great discussion book as well. Read it out loud to your class or your children and talk about what it might be like to have the same difficulties as Melody and how they would react to other kids being mean to them and not believing they're smart.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5Easily one of my favorites of the year. Sharon M. Draper created a fantastic book that all kids should read.
Out of My Mind
Sharon M. Draper
Review copy received from publisher
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