Book Review,  Books,  middle grade novels

Book Review: Out of My Mind

I just finished reading Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper about a young girl trapped in her broken body. Melody was born with cerebral palsy so she can’t speak or walk or even move her fingers, hands, arms, or legs like she wants to. But her brain isn’t affected like her body and we experience fifth grade life through her perspective. Melody simply wants to be like all the other kids in her class.


This book made me both angry and upset. But it also made me cheer for this young girl.

Maybe I was particularly touched because I have a child with special needs and I watch him try to navigate the sometimes very unfriendly world around him. As his mom, I want him to have the best life possible, but I often find resistance from adults, teachers, administrators, and even other kids who see him as his diagnosis instead of as a human being. What this character experiences in this book is similar to what I’ve seen happen with my own son. And reading it from her point of view is both poignant and thought-provoking.

As a writer, I was intrigued by how the author found such a distinctive voice for a child with cerebral palsy. It isn’t easy writing for kids. I  admired the way she used descriptions to make the story come alive. And I really enjoyed how she used the imagery of music to help me understand how Melody “saw the music.” I knew from the outset what Melody’s story goal was and I was invested in her achieving that goal. Kudos to the author!

This book is about the resilient spirit of a child who refuses to give up or be defined by her disability and I love that. I highly recommend this book.

You can purchase it here.


Over 1.5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind and discovered the brilliant mind of Melody Brooks.

Out of My Mind spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list!

“If there’s one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it.” —The Denver Post
“A gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“Unflinching and realistic.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Uplifting…This moving novel will makes activists of us all.” —Booklist (starred review)

From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes a story that will forever change how we all look at anyone with a disability, perfect for fans of RJ Palacio’s Wonder.


Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

Read my review of Paper Wishes.

Read my review of America’s First Daughter.

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