Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Musings: Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Up to about seventy pages into this book I wanted to burn it. 

It's a book told from the first-person point of view of a child with cerebral palsy, but her voice sounds more like an adult's view of a child's voice. Lots of exclamation points and syntax I wouldn't attribute to an eleven-year-old. The only way I could explain it was that this kid is shown to have spent most of her time with adults, and probably a good amount with condescending ones, so maybe she picked up their speech patterns. However, it's supposed to be written by her at the end of the novel after she's spent a good amount of time with other kids, so maybe not. 

Aside from this unfortunate issue, the book is a good and thought provoking one. Melody is severely disabled, but becomes increasingly mainstreamed in school after she receives a special computer that speaks for her. The discrimination she still faces at school is extremely heartbreaking, and the author does not tie everything up into a nicely wrapped package, which I'm grateful for. Melody's life is affected by her family and friends just as much as by her disability. 

However, several elements of this book are very similar to Stuck in Neutral , a novel about a non-verbal child with CP aimed at a higher age group, and for anyone older I'd recommend that one. (Interestingly, both authors contend that these children have increased memory capacity, particularly for words. Can someone tell me if that's actually a thing?