Cherylann's Reviews > Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
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Jun 06, 10

bookshelves: ya
Read from June 03 to 05, 2010

** spoiler alert ** What a book! Draper brings special needs students to the forefront in this sensitive and funny YA novel. Melody, the protagonist, has CP and is confined to a wheelchair unable to do the simplest tasks for herself. She's also locked in silence unable to speak. When she gets her Medi Talker, the world begins to learn how smart Melody is - something her mom and Mrs. V, her neighbor, have known for years. After winning a place on the quiz bowl team, Melody's team pulls a cruel stunt that shatters her world. Told with strong voice and heart, I laughed and cried as I read this beautiful novel. It should be a must for all students and their teachers!
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bjneary Cherylann, just picked this up today, I will get to it as soon as I finish my present book, can't wait! Noticed there are no African American characters...her books are usually African American and some urban fiction as well.

message 2: by Cherylann (last edited Jun 07, 2010 05:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cherylann BJ, I thought the same thing. However, the description given of Melody could read as a description of a child of color. The book made me question my "read" of characters. In one of my grad classes quite early in my grad career, we discussed how there is an assumption if a character's race/ethnicity isn't stated readers assume the character is white. While reading Out of My Mind, I was reminded of that conversation and decided that I couldn't necessarily make that assumption about this novel. The focus here is on the character's (dis)ability, which is why I believe Draper didn't explicitly state race/ethnicity. I can't wait to hear what you think of the book, BJ!

bjneary Soon, I will be back to you, kind of reminds me of Make Lemonade. I thought the characters were African American but it was not stated. Have you ever read any of Terry Trueman's books--one is about a boy who is confined to a wheelchair and can't talk to anyone but he is intelligent and alert, and he thinks his father wants to kill him to put him out of his misery.

Cherylann Yes, I've read that book by Trueman a few years ago. After I booktalked it, it started making the rounds in the classroom, and never made it back on my shelves - the sign of a good book! I remember it being a really powerful book.

bjneary Cherylann, here is my review of Out of My Mind---Loved this book!!!
Draper's book was awesome. Definitely different from all of her other books---getting into the mind of a girl with cerebral palsy is just the kind of book EVERYONE needs to read.
I really enjoyed Melody! She was feisty, she loved Mrs V (she got Melody). About Mr. Dimming, I really thought he was horrible, have WE as a people, not advanced enough to recognize that all students deserve a chance? I think he was deceitful and those other two girls, Claire and Molly, well they could be any teen today (even though they are in 5th grade), isn't that sad! It was heartbreaking when they all conspired--even Rose---to leave her behind, yes I know what they all said, but their actions spoke louder than words, and I was rooting for Melody when she confronted them and then whirled around in her chair and sped off when she gave it to them, you go Melody!
But I was tormented by the scene with her mother and the rain and Penny, well you know what I MEAN! It really showed that Melody was trapped in her body and only a few people listened to her---Mrs V, Catherine--- even her parents couldn't figure out when Melody was trying to tell them something.
I think this book should be read by all teens from 5th grade on up---it would be a great form of sensitivity training---just by reading a book!

bjneary Cherylann, I am almost finished A Curse as Dark as Gold,oh my, such great writing of characters, scenes, the mill....

Cherylann BJ, I'm so glad you're enjoying it. It was one of my favorites from this past school year.

bjneary Cherylann, loved it!!! It was mesmerizing and I loved Charlotte, she was so real, didn't think about herself, didn't think she could burden Randall, oh did I love their realtionship....until she pushed him away, but then the ending was so right....
Now I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett (it is a Reading Olympics books too)

Cherylann I LOVED The Help! I read it in one weekend this past December. I couldn't put it down.

bjneary I have finished 1/3 of the book---love The Help!

Cherylann We had an amazing book club conversation about this book. There's so many layers to it. It would be great to read this with The Secret Life of Bees.

bjneary Yes, it would. I just had a librarian friend tell me she was the only one who didn't like the book---reason---she felt the 2 maids were undeveloped and she didn't see the point of Miss Skeeter. Another business teacher told me she loved the book, but hated the ending...but she didn't give anything away. What do you think of these 2 reactions?

Cherylann I'm confused by your librarian friend. We spent a lot much time talking about Miss Skeeter's role in the novel. Maybe it's my literacy perspective, but I liked that Skeeter really started to challenge the "norms" prevalent in society. I saw her examining white privilege and forcing the her Junior Leaguers to confront their beliefs. I don't think they really did, but she put it out there. Skeeter is one of my favorite characters. I also believe the maids were developed. I loved the book through the end. So I can't say that I agree with either of those comments. I'm curious as to what you think.

bjneary I have a few chapters to go and right now, I really care about Miss Skeeter and hope she has a good life what with her mother and what happened to Constantine! I was wishing the Stuart thing would work out, but I knew his father being a politician was way too conforming and Stuart was going to have some beliefs about things, unfortunately that does not help his find a life with Skeeter. I HATED MISS HILLY, she was the reincarnation of the devil, evil and racism. But I am still not finished and I do love Abileen, Minny amd MaeMobley! So I will be back to you soon!

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