Out of My Mind

One of the great things about books is that they take readers to another time and place, and help us to see the world from a different perspective, whether historical, geographical, or …

I have read some great books which focus on children living with a disability – Follow My Leader, The CayThe Door in the Wall are a few that come to mind.

But these books all deal with children who were injured, and then learned to adjust to life with a disability.  Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is about a girl born with a severe disability – one that kept her from clearly communicating with those around her for over a decade.

Melody is super-smart, but no one really knows how smart because Melody cannot talk and can barely move on her own.  Her parents know she is smart, and that she’s bored in her small classroom full of disabled students, as does her neighbor.  But until this year, Melody has not been able to tell anyone how she feels, or what she is thinking.

Some readers have complained that the ending of Out of My Mind seems contrived, but the ending doesn’t bother me.  I have no problem imagining a similar scenario happening in real life – because scary, life-changing things happen before we even realize it.

But the real value in reading Out of My Mind is learning and understanding the perspective of life from a child with a severe handicap.  Reading this book will forever change the way you see, value and interact with people who are handicapped.

Highly recommended for ages 9 and up.

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