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Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

For Ages: 10 and up
  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
  • 31awards
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.From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.
Choose a format:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416980452 | 
  • March 2010 | 
  • Grades 5 and up | 
  • Lexile 700
List Price $8.99

Video

Right Out of Her Mind, in Her Words

Award winning author Sharon Draper speaks on her New York Times bestselling novel, Out of My Mind.

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to Out of My Mind
by Sharon M. Draper

Discussion Topics

1. The novel opens with a powerful discussion of the power of words and language. How does this help capture the reader’s attention? What predictions can the reader make about the narrator of the story? What inferences can be made about the thought processes of the narrator’s mind?

2. In a world that does not work for her, what seems to cause the biggest frustrations for Melody?

3. Describe Melody’s parents. How do they learn to communicate with Melody and help her to overcome everyday problems? Why are those efforts sometimes a complete failure?

4. How does Melody feel about school? How does she fit in with her classmates and what makes her different from the rest of the children in H-5? What would be Melody’s ideal school situation?

5. Discuss Melody’s teachers since she began going to school. What does this say about her school system, or about attitudes at her school about teaching children with special needs?

6. Describe Mrs. V. What role does she play in Melody’s development? Why is she a necessary addition to Melody’s life?

7. What is significant about the story of Ollie the fish? How does Ollie’s life mirror Melody’s? Describe Melody’s feelings when she is unable to tell her mother what really happened.

8. Describe how the introduction of Penny as see more

Behind the Book

About the Author

Sharon M. Draper
Photo Credit:

Sharon M. Draper

Sharon M. Draperis a New York Times bestselling author who has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and has been a New York Times bestseller for more than a year. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.

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