Out of My Mind. Sharon M. Draper. 2010. March 2010. Simon & Schuster. 295 pages.
Words.Out of My Mind hooked me from the beginning. Melody, our narrator, has such a story to tell. And with just a few pages, I had to know it. While it isn't all that unusual for me to connect with a character from a book, it doesn't always happen so quickly.
I'm surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.
Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.
Words have 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.
Melody has cerebral palsy. She lets us know from the start her limitations: "I can't talk. I can't walk. I can't feed myself or take myself to the bathroom." But she's a smart girl, a gifted one, a genius. And the memories she has stored away--almost unbelievable. But so few know it. Out Of My Mind is an intimate novel. Readers get such a close look at Melody and her world. A world that includes not only her immediate family but Mrs. V and Catherine too.
Out of My Mind is a beautiful but bittersweet novel. I'd definitely call it intense. Very emotional. Very haunting. I'd definitely recommend it. I thought the writing was incredible.
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