Out of My Heart by Sharon M. Draper

Out of My Heart by Sharon M. Draper. Caitlyn Diouhy Book, 2021. 9781665902168 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Realistic

What did you like about the book: Melody, your typical Ohio teenager, has a lot to say; unfortunately she lacks the ability to verbally elucidate what is going on in her head. She is a highly intelligent young woman whose body does not pay attention to what her mind wants it to do, a common feature in people with cerebral palsy. For the first time in her life she has the opportunity to go to a camp that caters to people with needs similar to her own.  Nervous about being away from home, she begins her adventure with trepidation, yet as she explores her new surroundings and people, she discovers that they have more in common than she first thought. As camp progresses she discovers new strengths as she challenges herself. Draper does a wonderful job of putting readers into Melody’s shoes.  She expertly allows us to glimpse the life, daily joys, and tribulations felt by people who must overcome physical hurdles on a daily basis.  The title will give readers a chance to reassess their biases in regards to creating equal opportunities for all.  Thought provoking.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers, in grades 4 to 7, who enjoy books with differently-abled main characters or books like El Deafo would like this title.  

Who should buy this book? Intermediate or middle schools and public libraries that cannot get enough novels from a differently-abled point of view.

Where would you shelve it ? Realistic fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside at the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: February 25, 2022

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