Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

“Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes– each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.”

– Out of My Mind, pg . 295

Oh, my heart. A beautiful, necessary story to tell. Simply written about a complex and silenced issue. Disabilities, particularly severe disabilities that limit communication, are rare and therefore uncomfortable for outsiders. Draper chose to have the narrator be a silenced, misunderstood, disabled, brilliant, darling girl with severe cerebral palsy. Melody gives voice to a perspective rarely considered. She feels and sees and understands but she can’t talk, can’t walk, can’t feed herself, or take herself to the bathroom. “Big bummer” (3) she says.

This book reminds us what it is to be human. We want love. We want belonging. We don’t want to be too different. This novel shows the similarities behind the differences and how much we rely on vocal communication. My precious niece has cerebral palsy and I cherish this voice and exposure to the world of physical disability. I want to be Ms. V and Catherine.