Out of my Mind

Out of My Mind - Sharon M. Draper

Melody has cerebral palsy.  Melody cannot walk or talk.  She has been relegated to the special needs classrooms with a endlessly revolving door of nightmarishly boorish teachers.  A doctor told her mother that she was severely retarded.  Seriously.  What doctor uses that sort of language?  But her mother refuses to see her like that, and almost more importantly, her neighbor refuses to see her as helpless.   Melody's neighbor has been her only babysitter her entire life.  She pushes Melody to become her best self and to learn to communicate on her communication board, by teaching vocabulary words all the time. 


Despite all her challenges, Melody is not stupid.  And she never gives up.  But everything changes when her school starts to integrate classes.  This is when a classmate gets a computer and Melody realizes that if she has one of her own that her entire life could be changed.  If she had a computer specialized to her needs, she could communicate.


This is a story of a teenage girl coming into her own and learning to engage with her classmates and joining a team, and dealing with the insecurity that comes with her unique challenges and what that means when it comes to friends' open and closed mindedness.


Anyway, I can see why people love this book.  It's an important one for, I think, children to read.  It could teach some minds to open if introduced early enough (and it's certainly an easy read).  But for me, I just felt like the writing style was missing some ... passion.  It seemed a little too cut and dry for my tastes.