Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Out of My Mind gets 4 Stars {Middle Grade Fiction}

Out of My Mind by Shannon Draper gets 4 out of 5 stars in my book review of this emotional, inspiring, middle grade fiction/ juvenile lit.  This book about a girl with Cerebral Palsy going amazing things reminds me of Stargirl a little bit. developmental dissabilities, read aloud, parents, book club, teachers, parents, librarians.  Alohamora Open a Book

In some ways I feel Out of My Mind by Shannon Draper is a mix between Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.  It's not a perfect mixture of the two, but there are a lot of similarities between the two other books which I think both, Stargirl and Wonder, are great books and read aloud.   

This book gets 4 out of 5 Stars in my book review of this middle grade fiction/juvenile lit book.  There were many things I liked about this emotional and inspiring read.  I liked reading a book by the perspective of Melody, someone with Cerebral Palsy.  I loved gaining a new perspective on this developmental disability.   I loved seeing Melody's confidence build, and overcoming great odds.  I loved her struggle with friends, but her need to have them as well.  I loved her family and the support system that she had, and I love that the story  came full circle.  

All in all, I really think Out of My Mind is an important books about an important subject.  I think it would make a great read aloud for s 5th, 6th, or even 7th grade classroom.  The teachers could find many topics like, character and kindness, as well as persistence, work ethic, and dealing with failure.  I think the benefit that can come from reading this book out weighs all of the negativity I feel about this book.  

I took a star away from Out of My Mind b/c the story was a bit obvious, predictable, and even unrealistic at times.  The big event near the end didn't add much value to the story, and many of the characters were very typical. The story had the cruel, uncaring, adult as well as the typical mean girls.  There was the amazing and caring friend, as well as the typical working mom.    The character beyond Melody were mostly predictable, and the story ended in such an obvious way.  Melody, the narrator and main character, has cerebral palsy and the things she does are inspiring, but for one with CP seems a bit far fetched. Tho, I was cheering for her the entire time.  I do think Melody is important, but I do wish this book was a bit more accurate for someone with CP.  However, still a valuable and important book on an important subject.

Overall,  Out of My Mind is a great read, and I hope more teachers and parents read it with their kids

Amazon has the following book review from School Library Journal to give you a better idea of the story line.  

"Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but gypped by physical limitations and misunderstandings. She will never sing or dance, talk on the phone, or whisper secrets to her friends. She's not complaining, though; she's planning and fighting the odds. In her court are family, good neighbors, and an attentive student teacher. Pitted against her is the "normal" world: schools with limited resources, cliquish girls, superficial assumptions, and her own disability. Melody's life is tragically complicated. She is mainly placed in the special-ed classroom where education means being babysat in a room with replayed cartoons and nursery tunes. Her supportive family sets her up with a computer. She learns the strength of thumbs as she taps on a special keyboard that finally lets her "talk." When she is transitioned into the regular classroom, Melody's undeniable contribution enables her class to make it to the national quiz team finals. Then something happens that causes her to miss the finals, and she is devastated by her classmates' actions. Kids will benefit from being introduced to Melody and her gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes and reveals the quiet strength and fortitude it takes to overcome disabilities and the misconceptions that go with them."

Have you read this emotional and inspiring book?  What did you think? 

Happy Enlightening and Inspiring Middle Grade Fiction/Juvenile Lit Reading! 

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