Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
AR Reading Level: 4.3
On the library stacks: Children's Fiction
Award: NAACP Outstanding Literary Work
Appropriate for: Grades 4+
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I'll just say up front that my feelings about this book are certainly in the minority. I LOVED the concept of this book. But I had problems with the execution.
Melody is a 5th grader with cerebral palsy. She is unable to talk and she is confined to a wheelchair. While some doctors and teachers had considered her severely mentally disabled, Melody is very smart and soaks in everything she hears in school and on TV. With the help of an amazing next door neighbor, a teacher's aide and a new speaking device, Melody is able to prove to others that she has a great mind and she eventually makes the school's quiz bowl team.
Although I really liked the premise, at times I felt the book was unrealistic and melodramatic. I had some issues with the writing--mixed tenses, dated slang and definitely some language that didn't sound like a 5th grader to me (I have a 4th and 6th grader). I felt like Melody came off as more snarky than spunky and I didn't really like how Melody and her mom chose to fight their battles with the one-dimensional mean doctors, teachers and school bullies.
This was my book club's pick for this month. We all agreed this book was good for raising awareness and helping us think about how we interact with adults and kids with disabilities.
Also reviewed by: Confessions of a Book Habitue ~ Book Nut ~ Becky's Book Reviews ~ Your link here?
6 hours ago