Ann's Reviews > Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
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's review
Apr 22, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: elementary-school, k-6, prejudice, realistic, disabilities
Read from October 21 to 24, 2011

I felt like a terrible person the entire time I read this book because I disliked it so much, especially since I think that it's an important book and a really thoughtful book in many ways. I was impressed with the author for writing a story from the perspective of someone with cerebral palsy, and thought she did a great job of expressing the difficulties of living with that condition. The intentions were good, but wow, I couldn't stand Melody. If someone talked like she does throughout the book that didn't have cerebral palsy, then no reader would like her at all. But since she does, I'm supposed to think she's wonderful. She was completely arrogant and unlikable, and I never felt sympathetic for her because I disliked the way she talked about the people around her so much. I recognize that the author was trying to show her frustrations, but I still didn't like her at all. Additionally, every character in the book is cookie-cutter: from Mrs. V (her very name being a cliche) to the kids in the school - predictable stock characters. I hated the scenes in which Melody's mom "shows" the adults in her daughter's life how wrong they are by humiliating them and "putting them in their place". I hated the climactic interaction with kids at school. I thought the tacked-on Penny ending was completely unnecessary. The book had really great potential, and I still think that the perspective is important to tell, but I haven't disliked a character so much since I had to suffer through The Girls from Ames.
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Reading Progress

02/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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Maddie That's stupid she's the best character ever

message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann It's great that you've found a character that you love so much, Maddie! But you don't need to call my opinion stupid, okay?

Sage Getchell I disagree. You make some valid points, but I don't think it was necessary to say that Melody was the worst character ever.

message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann I DIDN'T say she's the worst character ever.

Sage Getchell Yeah, but you said you strongly silkies her.

message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann I did strongly dislike the character. But you're putting words in my mouth that aren't true.

Sage Getchell But it is a children's book WRITTEN FOR KIDS! The author was probably trying to connect with the children and bullying each other.

message 8: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann I think it's fine if you loved this book, Sage. I'm allowed to not like it. I personally wouldn't want kids to think that someone with a disability is thinking these thoughts about everyone around them. I wouldn't want kids to think that it's okay for adults to humiliate another person the way the parents in this book do. But that's my opinion. You are welcome to disagree with me, but I'm not interested in defending my opinion anymore to someone I don't know.

Sam Afton Amen to this review, Ann. You totally nailed it, I really hated this book. It was all so predictable, unrealistic as far as the villains go. I totally agree with you

message 10: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann Thanks, Saddleseat Sammi!

message 11: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary I, too, felt guilty for my displeasure with the characters of this book. Not only are the kids made out to be selfish, ignorant, and mean, but, WOW, the adults that are supposed to be in leadership roles are downright mentally archaic. I kept having to remind myself of the year in which this was set. To many clichés and ignorant stereotypes. Maybe I'm too naive to think that 12-year-olds are capable of much more emotionally and empathetically than this author has them portrayed?

message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann Was it supposed to be set in the past? I totally missed that!

message 13: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary No, Ann, it was set within the last few years I believe, hehe. I just kept having to remind myself of that fact because the mentality of many of the characters was so dated in their way of looking at people with disabilities.

Susan Jones I agree with you Ann. I'm only about half way through the book, but I'm really, really not liking Melody. I'm the parent of two autistic kids, one of which is a 28 year old who doesn't talk. I know there's more in there than he shows, but I'd hate to think, as frustrating as that may be for him, that he'd be anything like Melody, either now or when he was in 5th grade. I hated how the SPED teachers and aides were treated in the beginning. But it does seem to get a little better as it goes.

Auriana This was a really good read to me. I loved Melody

message 16: by Kristal (new)

Kristal im so sorry to disagree with you but ask yourself this...............HOW WOULD YOU TALK? her thoughts are all bundled up inside of her and people are mean to her whta do you do when someone is mean or makes you mad? ive read your comments above and you seem to get really upset when people4 are mean to you so much that you remind me of what you said about melody except you dont have a reson because you dont have CP

Rachel Sachs I don't think you have to feel bad about disliking the book. Just because Melody has a disability doesn't mean you have to feel sorry for disliking a book, you're entitled to your own opinion.
I unfortunately have to dis agree with you because this is one of my favorite books but your points that you bring up are quite interesting. I've read this book nine times (I know that's a lot) and every time I read it I take something different away. I sometimes feel the way you like/dislike the book is the way you may feel about kids with special needs. Not saying you dislike special needs children but I think some people feel as though they don't know how to feel about Melody as a character since she has cerebral palsy. I actually have worked with disabled kids for a couple of years now starting when I was only twelve and that's why I feel like I loved this book so much, because it was almost like reading into the mind of what maybe one of the kids I worked with felt like. I think this is certainly one of those books that if you can sympathize with the characters well, it's more enjoyable. (Even though you mentioned that some of the characters are very basic and cookie-cutter, which I agree.)
I was just interested on other people's perspectives, thanks for sharing your's!

Melissa I felt the same way about the ending... it just bam ends and with me not liking the way the parents or Melody handle it. But they aren't perfect, so I get it... and I thought Penny's situation was odd and not needed. I loved the message the author was trying to get through and I enjoyed that... but I agree... I felt bad not liking it more.

Julia Lynn Rubin I hate to say it, but I almost laughed when the "twist" ending happened. It was just SO melodramatic, like something out of a bad soap opera.

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