Ann's Reviews > Out of My Mind

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

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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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 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.

Saddleseat Sammi 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

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