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Paperback Out of My Mind Book

ISBN: 1416971718

ISBN13: 9781416971719

Out of My Mind

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Book Overview

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." -- Denver Post "A gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes." -- School Library Journal (starred review) "Unflinching and realistic."...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

This book is just amazing

Eager late-elementary school students will love this book about friendship and persistance. I loved the plot-turners and the unexpected twists. For kids who have read Wonder by R.J.Palacio, this is definitely a must read.

one of the best books I've read recently

I have mild CP myself; nothing as severe as Melody but I have had a LOT of trouble speaking. To the point where I've needed to pursue years of in-depth speech therapy as an adult (because I did not receive any as a child). The trouble I had was both neurological (this is known as "aphasia" and is difficulty with speech comprehension and neurological production) and mechanical (difficulty pronouncing words and tending to slur them, and speaking very slowly). I was able to compensate for my problems to some extent and a lot of people called me "shy" when I really wasn't, but had major trouble speaking and therefore spoke very little. I went along with speech therapy and put a lot of work into it but I also spent a lot of time fantasizing about communication devices and sign language. After about 8 years of therapy, my speech is much improved. So while I can't say I have been in Melody's position, I very much related to her being quite intelligent and yet unable to express what was on her mind, until she got the special communication device and then she could "talk." And she found that the supportive people in her environment, such as her parents and her next-door neighbor, wanted to hear what she had to say. But not everyone wanted that. And the people who were not willing to hear her included some of the able-bodied teachers and children, as well as some of the teachers in the "special" classroom. However she had an aide who was very understanding and supportive. And then there is suspense generated by the quiz contest and Melody's unexpectedly outstanding performance in practices, so she ends up on the team, and after some limited success there is an ending which unfortunately, is more realistic than inspirational. However, after this is resolved, Melody again starts thinking about the power of words in her life, which is how the author began this book. Melody is 10-11 years of age when these events transpire and I had trouble realizing that she was not a real person :) The author has been criticized for making this book "too descriptive" especially in the beginning, but that is the reality of someone who lives in her head because she cannot share what is on her mind and therefore, cannot really engage in meaningful conversation (because those around her cannot read her mind. They talk to her and engage her with various topics and music but they can't have a back-and-forth conversation.) I found the interactions among the children and with the teachers to be realistic and the ambivalence of Rose to be real as well. People who like this book may like an older book called Skallagrigg which contrasts old times (maybe around the 1920s) when kids with severe CP were put in institutions and lived in bad conditions, with more recent times, when a woman with CP is living in the community. The book goes back and forth in time and the author is the father of a daughter with CP. The quest for the skallagrigg is the point of the book.

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

Sharon M. Draper is one of my favorite authors. Her books usually focus on high school characters living through high school problems. OUT OF MY MIND heads in a different direction. The main character is faced with the daily struggle of living with severe cerebral palsy. Draper takes readers into a world most can't even come close to imagining. Melody is trapped not only in a wheelchair but also in her own body. She has very little control over her physical functions. She can't walk, can't feed herself, but the worst thing is she can't communicate beyond grunts, squeals, and unreliable facial expressions. People might think her biggest problems are her obvious physical disabilities, but if Melody could speak, she would reveal that she is actually a very smart young girl. She has a photographic memory, and from as early as she can remember, she has been learning words and storing them away. She learned her alphabet, how to count, and gained early reading skills just like every other youngster whose parents sat them in front of the TV to watch Sesame Street. Melody even has a fairly decent command of a second language, Spanish, thanks to the cultural diversity of preschool TV programming. The fact remains, no one knows because Melody can't tell them. Fortunately, Melody's parents sense that their child is intelligent and capable of learning just like every other child, maybe even more so. They speak for Melody and insist she attend public school. It hasn't always been successful, because school officials place Melody in a special education room where the teachers haven't always given her the attention she deserves. With the help of one devoted teacher, a college teacher's aide, and a loving neighbor, Melody is given a chance to learn - and also a chance to speak in her own unique way. Melody's world opens even more when she is mainstreamed into several regular classrooms. She gains confidence and the knowledge that she is as smart as or smarter than many kids her age. With the academic playing field on the level with her peers, she is able to show off her skills and make some friends. However, even though fitting in and being "normal" may be her greatest desire, it might prove to be an impossible dream. My heart went out to Melody as she struggled to communicate with those around her. Sharon M. Draper captures the frustration Melody faces every moment of every day. Even though Draper provides a supportive family for Melody, she also shows the frustration of raising a child like Melody. With a direct and frank approach, Draper reveals the ups and downs of dealing with cerebral palsy. Draper covers everything from the physical challenges to the crushing guilt associated with having and raising a child with the condition in her trademark style. Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"

Trapped

As a small library director I tend to read the inside of the jacket for every book I purchase. After reading the jacket I had to continue. Continue I did until I was done with the book. Imagine being aware of everything around you for eleven years of your life and remembering each detail and not being able to communicate. Then one day you can and it almost becomes worse than being silent. I used to work at the school as a Paraeducator for kids with disabilities and it brought new insight to some of the things they did. At first I thought that it was a bit extreme what the kids had done to her (I won't spoil it for you), but I thought back to how some kids were just cruel and some were just ignorant. I realized that it was completely possible for situations to arise like those in the book. That is what makes this book so heartbreaking and insightful at the same time. I will be suggesting this book for the teachers that come in as well as the kids and parents to read.

A Must Read!!!

Melody is trapped in her own body. Born with cerebral palsey, she is unable to perform most of the basic physical functions that the rest of us take for granted. But her mind is completely normal - actually, it's significantly above normal. However, almost no one realizes that she has any intellectual capabilities. She attends school as part of the special education program, being partially integrated into the regular classroom, where kids are outright mean or awkwardly nice. When she gets a device that enables her to "speak" for the first time in her 11 years, people are shocked that she is like anyone else. And not ready to accept it. Melody is a delightful, observant girl. Her physical challenges and pure intellect enhance her other senses - she sees, smells, and hears things that the rest of us don't notice. She also has a real gift for reading people, enhanced unfortunately by people's negative interactions with her. She finds enjoyment in life but also is, understandably, incredibly frustrated. I can almost physically feel Melody's frustration, her "tornadoes", with her. The difficulties of not being able to express yourself are unimaginable. I think every child should read this book. Preferably with a parent or teacher to discuss as the book goes along. Draper does not sugarcoat Melody's life. She is blessed with parents, a neighbor, and some teachers who love her dearly, understand her, and fight for her. Her mother is a true hero. But she also experiences hate and ignorance that no child should have to go through - from other kids, from doctors, and from teachers. The story is often heartbreaking as Melody is let down repeatedly. But her innate sense of self and her loving family also keeps her strong. This book changed the way I think of disabled children (forgive me if I don't use the most politically correct terms; I'm trying the best I can). We get to know Melody and her classmates, who have Down's Syndome, autism, and other physical and mental disabilities, as people, not just as labels. We realize how they sad and frustrated they get at cruelty and inadequate education. We see their joy when they have fun and are accepted. In my head I know that differently-abled children have emotions just like everyone else, but it's so much more powerful when reading Draper's book. I really feel what they're feeling. It makes me want to get involved in the special education system, to advocate for disabled children, and to just be a kinder person. I hope everyone will feel this way as they read this book.

Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-really enjoyed reading Out of My Mind

Imagine having a photographic memory, imagine being extremely smart..... Well that's exactly how eleven year old Melody is except there is one problem, she can't talk or walk. Every day she goes to school to a special class for kids that have problems and every day they go over the alphabet. For her, though, she is past just learning the alphabet. Melody belongs in advanced classes but she has no way of letting anyone know that. Doctors and experts diagnosed her with cerebral palsy and insisted that she wasn't capable of learning. Little did they know she is destined to prove them wrong. With a little help from a friend and a lot of hope, Melody finds what she's been looking for all her life. She will prove to the world what she can accomplish. I've never read any of Sharon Draper's books before, but what caught my eye on this book was the cover. It is very interesting how the fish is jumping out of its bowl and it goes very well with the title. The characters were written very well and sometimes I found myself getting frustrated with some of Melody's problems. I started worrying if it would end okay. Even though it had some sad parts I really enjoyed reading Out of My Mind. I would recommend this for kids 11 and up. Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer Flamingnet Book Reviews Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers

Out of My Mind Mentions in Our Blog

Out of My Mind in 5 Ways to Celebrate Reading This National Literacy Month
5 Ways to Celebrate Reading This National Literacy Month
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 09, 2021

September is National Literacy Month, a time to encourage the young people in your life to pick up a good book and explore new worlds. Here, we offer up five strategies for sharing your love of reading with kids and young adults.

Out of My Mind in Read-Aloud Books for Everyone!
Read-Aloud Books for Everyone!
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 08, 2019

Reading aloud isn't just for kids. Everyone benefits from the simple, calming act of picking up a book and enjoying a story together. It is especially important in this age of frantic, electronic, distraction. We have become so accustomed to the constant cacophony of our devices, we forget how important it is to unplug.

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