Middle Grade Review: Out of My Heart (Sharon M. Draper)

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About This Book:

Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own—the dream!

By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.

 

*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*

A long awaited sequel
 
 
Melody (from Out of My Mind) is enjoying the summer away from school, hanging out with her young sister Penny with the neighbor Miss V., but when she finds out about a summer camp for children with physical challenges two hours from her home, she begs to go. Even though it’s a last minute application and she is on the wait list, she gets accepted. Once in, she has to deal with her mother obsessively packing and writing notes, and is a bit apprehensive herself about being away from home. Once she gets to the camp, she finds out that she will have a conselour, Trinity, who helps her with all of her personal care needs, which are extensive because of her very involved cerebral palsey. There are lots of camp activities like going on a pontoon boat, swimming, zip lining, and horse riding, new friends with whom to bond, and even a few adventures. Even though there are a lot of new experiences, Melody enjoys her chance to be at camp, and wants to go back the next year.
 
Good Points
The many readers who followed Melody’s story with interest will be glad to see her back and experiencing the same joys and fears of summer camp that they might. Even though the activities are the same, there is careful attention paid to how these have to be modified, and this will hopefully give young readers some empathy and reinforce the fact that people with challenges are first and foremost people. Melody even has a very slight, nascent romance, and makes lots of new friends. I am glad that the same cover style was preserved, since remains clean, attractive, and modern looking.

Out of My Mind is a perennial favorite, mainly because so many elementary teachers use it as a read aloud. I imagine that many readers do want to know what happened to Melody and will be glad to read about her week at summer camp. There are some books that are worth waiting for a sequel, like Week’s So Be It and Soof, Holt’s Zachary Beaver Came to Town and The Ambassador of Nowhere, Texas, and Levine’sThe Two Princesses of Bamarre and The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre.

Readers who love summer camp stories like Rhuday-Perkovich’s It Doesn’t Take a Genius, Malone’s Camp Shady Crook series, Sloan and Wolitzer’s To Night Owl from Dogfish and Tan’s Summer at Meadow Wood will find Melody’s experience at camp an interesting and inclusive look at what summer camp is like for someone who faces challenges they might not be familiar with.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

3 thoughts on “Middle Grade Review: Out of My Heart (Sharon M. Draper)”

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