Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Diverse Books / TBR Pile: Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is the story of Melody, a fifth-grade girl with cerebral palsy, and how her life changed (and didn't) when she found a better way to communicate her thoughts to the outside world.

(picture taken from Goodreads)

Conclusion: This book is very profound in its simplicity, and I think this would be a good book for kids as an introduction to cerebral palsy. It's true that Melody's situation is not typical. In my own limited interaction with kids and adults with cerebral palsy, they had a much lower ability to communicate their thoughts than she does. That being said, I think it's important that her situation be somewhat special in order to get the point across of what she is capable of with the right help and technology, and to give this story its chance to sink in with the reader. I hope this can shed some light on the intelligence and mental capacity of people with cerebral palsy. Draper's treatment of Melody's peer interaction is what I really appreciate about this book. There are moments of connection and humor, but the kids never fully accept Melody as one of them, and I think that's accurate. I also like the way she builds the characters through the story. When the climax hits, each character's role makes perfect sense.

Recommendation:  I would probably recommend this primarily to kids and teachers, but I thought it was well done and worth the read.

This book is my June "Visible Disabilities or Deformities" choice for the 2015 We Read Diverse Books Challenge and my seventeenth read for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.

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