Monday, December 10, 2012
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Out of my Mnd
Read with my 9-year-old as part of the Oregon Battle of the Books 2013 project.
There was a lot of word-of-mouth about this book, and my son was eager to read it. It didn't disappoint!
The story (via Goodreads):
Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school—but no one knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can't, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.
Opening lines: Words. I'm surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.
What I liked: Words are indeed the stuff of Melody's life. She is a genius trapped in a body that doesn't work because of cerebral palsy. I found her voice to be engaging, and her struggles and triumphs to be believable. She has loving parents, who nonetheless have issues trying to care for her and to understand her.
The major plot point has to do with Melody qualifying for her school's trivia team, and the reactions which ensue. I appreciated that the whole thing didn't spiral down into a Hallmark moment, and that there was a setback and a near tragedy. I found the experience of reading it as being similar to WONDER--as in I should have shares in Kleenex! This is a five-hanky one!!
My son was eager to read this every night. He too found the character of Melody appealing, and enjoyed the humor. The mean girls also got a well-deserved raspberry from him. I'd recommend this for 4th grade and above.
If you want to know more about the author here's an interview with Sharon M. Draper at Goodreads.
Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday Everyone!!