Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Review - Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Title: Out of My Mind 
Author: Sharon M. Draper
Year: 2010
Page: 295
Genre: Fiction - YA

New to me author? x
Read this author again? x
Tearjerker? x
Where did it take place? x
FTC Disclosure: x

Summary (from
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.

From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.

First Sentence:
Why did I pick this book?
Read a wonderful review about this book on Helen's Book Blog (see here). Sounds amazing!

My thoughts:
  • Even though it has 295 pages, it's actually a pretty small book and definitely a fast read.
  • I am glad I read this book, even though this book was probably aimed at a much younger audience (protagonist is 11 years old.) But it is quite heartwarming. Now some characters may be a bit too simplistic or stereotypical, but I have to keep in mind that I am not their target audience. But the message in the book applies to all age regardless!
  • My favorite character in the book is Mrs V the neighbor. How cool to have a neighbor like so!
  • In the beginning I thought the "voice" of Melody seemed too mature for a 11 years old. But after I finish the book it made more sense why the book started the way it did.
  • There were also some touching moments (first words to parents). There were also some little twists in the plot that made it not overly predictable.
  • Love how "clean" the cover is, and that it is meaningful to the story. Though I wonder if this cover appeals more to adults than to young adults? 
  • The story reminds me a bit of Flowers for Algernon. So if you like that book you'd enjoy this one too. If you have children, I think this will also be a great book to read together. 

    Mom nods in agreement. "I know you're right, but -- but... it's just so much harder for Melody."

    "No, it's harder for us. We have to figure out what's in her head." (p170)

    Rating: 4 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading
    Young Adult


    1. I'm glad you liked the book. I just reread it with my 10 year old and she says it's one of her favorite books ever. Though the characters seem stereotypical, they pretty much fit the students I deal with at my school.

    2. The cover was one of my favourites of the year.

      I really enjoyed this story, gave it a 5 because it was perfect for the age group.

    3. @Helen's Book Bog - glad to hear your daughter likes it, and gets the message!

      @Marce - that's the thing with rating for non-adult books, I wasn't sure if I should rate it for myself, or rate it for the age group. I decided to rate it for myself which may not be totally reflective of the quality of the book... but since the blog really is just a document for myself mostly, I think rating for myself suits my purpose better. Funny enough, I'd used a similar graphic (fish jumping out of bowl) in some presentations before :)

    4. Replies
      1. Southwestern Ohio, probably around Cincinnati.