A few months ago, a friend approached me asking for some YA book suggestions. Given that her kids are 5 and 3, this seemed like a bit of a strange request and I must have looked a bit confused (which, let's be honest, is kind of a permanent expression on my face these days. The things small children do are frequently unfathomable). She went on to explain that her sister-in-law was homeschooling her two teenage sons and had come up with this brilliant idea - the Aunties' Book Club (ABC - seriously? This woman was born to teach!). The plan was that the boys' two aunties would each choose a novel to read alongside the boys and then they would discuss it via e-mail (this mama is homeschooling because - this is so fantastic - her family does long distance, multi-week cycling trips all around the world. I am in awe.).
So I racked my brain for a novel or two that I thought they would enjoy. Not really knowing what their interests and reading preferences were (I have since learned that they mainly read historical fiction), I threw out a few suggestions - any of the Rick Riordan books, The Hunger Games, Out of My Mind and a few others. My girlfriend thought Out of My Mind sounded intriguing and so did the boys so they were off and running!
Then it dawned on me - here was the perfect opportunity to hear from the kids themselves! I asked the boys if they would be willing to write reviews for the blog and they (somewhat reluctantly, I think) agreed. Yes! So glad they did, as they felt very differently about the book than I did. I enjoyed eading what they had to say and am excited to share it with you.
I am out of my mind for Out of My Mind
By Eric, Grade 8
Have you ever felt out of your mind? In Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper, a young girl is going crazy. This is all because Melody cant express her feeling through words and interactions. This book was written in 2010 and published by Antheneum Books for Young Readers. This book seems to bring the words to life or is it the words bring the book to life? I know this is full fiction but it seems to be real. This 295 page book is a heartfelt story with a great message!
Melody tells her story in her own unique way, through a computer. She has been like a sponge her whole life, absorbing information, numbers and words. With the new computer, Melody can finally communicate. Will other people be ready to hear her speak? She finally makes a friend at school, but everyone isn't friendly yet. Will Melody ever be who she wants to be?
This book made me feel like I was one of Melody's friends. It was like I was in the story. The author makes all of her readers understand what it is like in Melody's wheelchair. This book is a must read for all. From kids to grandparents this book will give you an understanding of cerebral palsy.
Out of My Mind is a book you can't set down until you are finished. I hope you can't set it down too!
Out of my Mind is Out of this World
Published in 2010 by First Antheneum Books, Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper is a relatively easy but great read! All 295 pages are extraordinarily exciting, and could be Melody's true story even though it is fiction.
This wonderful story is told through Melody's eyes. She has Cerebral Palsy which makes it difficult to move and completely function all her body parts. She also can't speak even though she is really smart. Her teacher, family, classmates, neighbour, and aide also play important parts in the story. Most of the time Melody only goes to school, to her neighbour's house, and to her house.
My opinion may be different than yours, but that is unlikely because it is such a great book. There was not much description, but the story made up for it in other ways. The author wrote casually and the first couple of lines had me hooked. I would recommend this book. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being awesome, I would give it an eleven.
If you need a good book, you don't have far to go. Just grab a copy of Out of my Mind and read like crazy!
Review by Joel, Grade 6
Looking forward to hearing more from these two...and maybe some of my own students! What book should "we" read next, boys?
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!