Saturday, February 20, 2010

Out of my Mind--My newest novel--Great blog review!



Title: Out of My Mind
Author: Sharon Draper
Release: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Atheneum
Isbn:141697170X (isbn13: 9781416971702)

From blog: eatingyabooks.blogspot.com by Jan Von Harz


Imagine not being able to talk, walk, feed yourself, or take yourself to the bathroom. A real nightmare right? In Sharon Draper’s new book Out of My Mind this nightmare is a reality for eleven-year-old Melody. Born with cerebral palsy, Melody’s mind is filled with words and thoughts she can never express, but Draper’s beautiful and richly detailed prose gives Melody a harmoniously distinct voice impossible to forget. Listen...

Words.
I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.
Cathedral, Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.
Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes—each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.
Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.
From the time I was really little—maybe just a few months old—words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.
Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.
I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings.
But only in my head.
I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old.

Using first person narrative Draper provides Melody a voice that is bright, witty, ingenious, and totally believable. I immediately formed a strong connection to Melody partially because of my own experiences working with an adolescent C.P. patient during my career as a nurse. However, the real connection is made because Draper’s characterization is so compelling. Within the first fifty pages, we learn first-hand a great deal about Melody’s life. She explains how she remembers everything she sees and hears, how much her mother and father love and care for her, how frustrating it is to not be able to express herself to those around her. “Nobody gets me. Nobody. It drives me crazy ... It’s like I live in a cage with no door and no key. And I have no way to tell someone how to get me out.”

When Melody’s mother enrolls her in school, Melody is hopeful that she will learn new things everyday. However, school becomes another source of frustration. Surrounded by other “special children” Melody is forced to endure doing the same things every year, “but with a new teacher.” Her experiences give new meaning to “dumbing down the curriculum.” Even her Plexiglass communication tray limits her abilities because it only provides “a handful of common nouns, verbs and adjectives ... and a few necessary phrases, like, I need to go to the bathroom, please and I’m hungry.”

Once Melody describes her first eleven years, the plot begins to truly develop. Melody becomes part of an inclusion program and begins to participate in “real” classroom experiences. Her physical limitations, however, remains a key source of frustrations and continues to define her in the eyes of her non-disabled classmates and regular ed. teachers. With the help of a classroom aide, her parents, and Ms V, a wonderful neighbor whose faith in her Melody is an inspiration, Melody’s imprisoned intellect is released when she receives a computer that talks and allows her to write. The Medi-Talker makes it possible for Melody to participate in classroom discussions and express her thoughts and feeling to her parents and friends without assistance. Sadly, her “regular” classmates and teachers remain skeptical of Melody’s true intellect.

Through Melody’s voice, Draper realistically portrays the insensitivity and discriminatory attitudes that disabled children encounter everyday without resorting to a preachy, bitter, or self-pitying tone. Melody’s perseverance despite overwhelming obstacles both from her physical limitations, and society's intolerance towards imperfections makes this book one of the most poignant and spiritually uplifting stories I have ever read. Melody’s conflicts are very real and the heartbreak she endures will bring tears to your eyes. I predict that Out of My Mind will be a 2010 award winner and is definitely going down as one of my all time favorite reads EVER!


Thanks so much, ,Jan!
Sharon D

48 comments:

  1. i loved your book....it was amzing!!!

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    1. I TOTAlLY AGREE PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE THIS BOOK ARE HATERS!!!

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  2. ur book was the bomb!!!

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  3. I loved this book!

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  4. My teacher is reading this book to my classmates and me. It is so good, and whenever she starts a new chapter, we all get really excited!

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  5. It was wonderful! I love every single bit of it! And if I'm not wrong, Melody also has synesthesia, yes?

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  6. I'm a librarian in a middle school and loved this book. I have highly recommended to our 6th grade teaching staff for a summer reading option. Do you know when the paperback version will be available?

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  7. When will this book come out in paperback? I want to use it with my 7th grade reading class. What an excellent book! We have a girl at school who has the same machine that Melody used in the book. I have tried to get to know her this year with a new perspective after reading your book! Thank you!

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  8. I really loved this book! I am doing my book report on it and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for writing such a good book which kept me interested until the very end.

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  9. I love this book! I have read more and more of it every time I go into borders lol I'm on chapter twenty so far and I think I will still buy it even if I finnish it before I get enough money for it

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  10. im doing this book for my mother-daughter book club tomorrow!!! i love it!

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  11. this is one of my favorite books! I really like your review for it, it catches everything in the book. One of the best books ever =D

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  12. the sad part was when melody tried to tell her mom about Penny
    My teacher cried since it was read aloud

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  13. I loved this book. I am reading it to my fourth grade students. We write reader's responses and reflections on Melody's experiences and the difficulties she must overcome.

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  14. Hi,my teacher read some of it to me she said she is continuing the book late i could`nt wait i borrowed it from the library.Hope you will/enjoyed it,Rina

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  15. this is a REALLY sad book it made me cry- though it was AMAZING!!!

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  16. Fantastic story, read it for a children's lit. class in college this semester. I have to write a paper over the setting of the story. I love that at least for the first half of the book, the setting is essentially Melody's mind. Then it spreads out to her school/home/neighbor and so forth. Another one of those books like Clark's, The Essential 55, that I wish every person would read, what a better society we would be. :)

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  17. i loved this book however the ending was different.

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  18. This book was absolutely amazing. I'll admit that there were a few parts that made me cry, but those parts really touched my heart.It's one of my all-time favorite books, and it has taught me to never look at a child with a disability the same way ever again.

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  19. i have to read it for middle school and i think it will be Very interesting.

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  20. i read it was soooo amazing!!! is the story true?

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  21. perfect .... beautifully precise in every other way! Amazing book. Good Job

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  22. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish you wold write more books for kids like me in 5th grade. I'd totally read them all!!!!

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  23. i have read "out of my mind" and i absolutely loved it! i have two questions for you, sharon: is melody based off a real person? do you know anyone with cerebral palsy?

    your fan,
    M.

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  24. I've read "Out of my mind" and it taught me to be grateful I was born as a "Normal" child, not one like Melody. :) Physical appearance may be important, but how one thinks is also important. As they say, "Don't judge a book by its cover!"

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  25. You book was soooooooo awesome!!!!! I loved it!!!!! >v<

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  26. I love your marvelous book it really changed my life on how to treat special needs kids soo thax soooooooooo much!!! <3

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  27. This book shows how this girl fights to push against the ods. OMG THIS BOOK IS GREAT I am in a book club for books that deserve the newberry wawrd and this is definetly a nominee!!!! it made me cry!!!!!

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  28. Out of my mind is one of my favorite books I finished it a couple of weeks ago but it is an amazing book its about a disabled girl named Melody she has Cerebral Palsy she has NEVER talked walked or even moved really by herself she is sooooo intelligent but it is all stuck in her head until she discovers a machine that can help her talk as she says "Cerebral Palsy limits my body NOT my Mind!". This book is inspiring it really teaches you not to take what you have for gread because your able to talk and walk and all that when there are people in this world who cant do any of that this book makes you open your eyes!I LOVE IT GO SHARON!!!

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  29. Sharon I have a question:
    Okay so how did you get the inspiration for Out of My Mind

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  30. This book is so sad and sweet. I love this book, my daughter and I are reading it and we love it.

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  31. This book is seriously the best book I have ever read . I was one of those kids who ignored the diables because I thought I'd get made fun of . But now , I love to talk to them . I have a best friend her name is Lauren . She has the same thing Melody does . And she is soo sweet (: This book made me appreciate more & make a new friend (:

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  32. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! My mom teaches kids who are disabled and now she reads books to some of the people in her class.She reads books that sometimes i dont even understand.Some of the kids understand and she is trying to work with some people to raise enough money to order something that is similar to medi-talker. so kids will finallly have a voice. Remember you are a hero to kids who have disabilities cerebal palsies. you changed my ife.LONG LIVE SHARON DRAPER!!!!!!

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  33. Your like the female martin luther king when it comes to writing stories

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  34. This book is bitter-sweet and sad. It is so inspiring.

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  35. Oh my god this book is so good and relatable. I'm 11 and have a brother who is special needs but dose not look it so people judge him. All the time are house is in an uproar because of him. I feel this book gives me support as a sister of some one who has a rough time.

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  36. Hi it is me the girl with the special needs brother again! I hope Sharon Draper, you look at this because your not just a author but a you inspire me so very much and you should make more books about this. I just got introduced to this book and can't put it down.
    Bridget

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  37. This is my all time favorite book, I want to inspire like you've inspired so many other people, I want them to listen, watch, learn, realize how important it is to touch someones heart like Melody touched mine. Thank you! :)

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  38. I loved this book and am doing my school project on it! Thanks for writing it! :)

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  39. What is the club Melody makes it in to?

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  40. Im a 7 grader and for my pre ap reading class report im doing your book...i love this book it made me cried and laughed

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  41. This was one of my all time favorites. It has so many life lessons. It's also very emotional. I loved it so much.

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  42. this was an amazing book I almost cried at the end you are one of my favorite writers

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  43. where is melody from in the book? btw loved the book!

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  44. OMG I love this book !!! I'm trying to find out if Melody and a medi - talker is /and if they are real life things !!!

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  45. I need to talk to this lady who writes this BOOKS !!!!!

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  46. This is my absolutely LOVE this book! This is my new favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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