Evan Beese's Reviews > Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
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May 21, 2012

it was amazing
Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** After reading Out of My Mind I definitely have the reasonable amount of sorrow for the condition that Melody was born into, but her resolve makes me so proud of the way that she handled adversity, and found great inner strength and self worth. Melody's outlook on life really shines through the whole novel, and you can't help but cheer her on through all the struggles she faces on a daily basis. It's an eye opener to just how much we take for granted in our daily lives, and how much we may overlook the capabilities of others just because we don't understand the different mannerisms in which they're forced to function in our society.

There are many characters in the novel that show the breadth of ignorance spawned around the way we interact with children facing disabilities. Some of these have been relatable to situations I've found myself in. I would like to believe that I have always been as sensitive and thoughtful as Melody's father, but I know I have treated people with disabilities in the same way as Mrs. Billups occasionally. The great thing about this novel is that there are so many relatable instances where you may have filled the role presented by one of the characters at a point. However, they are not presented to make you feel sorry for Melody. Melody shines through every obstacle she faced. The Medi-Talker really grew her voice, and I don't think she could have developed to become as strong as she did without the assistance of the device.

The foreshadowing right before the trip to finals in D.C. was a really great development in the book. Between the separation Melody faced at the dinner after the local tournament, and the exclusion she seemed to receive during the selections for the final six, Draper created a sense that a snowball of bad events was about to unfold. The events that followed definitely tested the fortitude of Melody. Even after facing all of the debilitating trials she showed up to Mr. Dimming's class with a smug sense of righteousness. She laughed off their pitiful apology and moved on with her own dreams and goals. She was done trying to fit in where there was clearly nothing for her to gain.

Draper really mastered the ebb and flow of pity versus pride felt towards Melody. At the closing of the novel all I can feel is great happiness for the strength Melody has to pull through every struggle with a humble mindset and a smile across her face. She is just as capable as anyone without a disability. Our failing is that we often overlook the talent of others simply because of our own miscommunications and misunderstandings.
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