Author(s): Sharon M. Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory that makes her the brightest kid in her school. Unfortunately, most people--including her doctors and teachers--believe she can't even learn.That's why her school days drone on with the same preschool lessons again and again and again.
Unable to talk, write, or walk, Melody longs to tell what she thinks and knows--but she can't. Trapped inside her own body, she often feels driven to the brink of insanity. And then one day, she discovers how to "speak." For the first time, hope sweeps over her. She has a voice at last But is everyone prepared to listen?
Richly textured by Sisi Aisha Johnson's enthralling narration, Out of My Mind, by ALA Best Book honoree and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Sharon M. Draper, is an unforgettable tale of heartache and hope--and of one girl's struggle to prove the "experts" wrong.
"Uplifting and upsetting, Out of My Mind] will enlighten and resonate with teens and adults."--Booklist, starred review
"Kids will benefit from Melody's] gutsy, candid, and compelling story that] reveals the quiet strength and fortitude it takes to overcome disabilities and the misconceptions that go with them."--School Library Journal, starred review
Melody Brooks, in a wheelchair and unable to speak, narrates this story about finding her voice. The first half of the book catalogues Melody's struggles--from her frustration with learning the same preschool lessons year after year to her inability to express a craving for a Big Mac. Draper, whose daughter has cerebral palsy, writes with authority, and the rage behind Melody's narrative is perfectly illustrated in scenes demonstrating the startling ignorance of many professionals (a doctor diagnoses Melody as "profoundly retarded"), teachers, and classmates. The lack of tension in the plot is resolved halfway through when Melody, at age 10, receives a talking computer, allowing her to "speak." Only those with hearts of stone won't blubber when Melody tells her parents "I love you" for the first time. Melody's off-the-charts smarts are revealed when she tests onto her school's quiz bowl team, and the story shifts to something closer to The View from Saturday than Stuck in Neutral. A horrific event at the end nearly plunges the story into melodrama and steers the spotlight away from Melody's determination, which otherwise drives the story. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) -"Publishers Weekly"
Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She 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 has been a New York Times bestseller for well over a year. 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.