Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Words. Words are how we express ourselves every day in our life. Could you even imagine not being able to talk and use words? Well, now you don’t have to. Sharon M. Draper takes us through the life of Melody, a 10-year-old girl who can’t talk, with the beautifully written story, Out of my Mind

In this elementary to middle school grade book, Melody is a very smart girl. She can remember anything because after all, she does have a photographic memory. However, this side of Melody will never be shown because she can’t talk. Melody has a condition known as Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a condition where a person can not control their body very well and can not speak. This is why Melody spends most of her life strapped into a pink wheelchair. 

At Melody’s school, Spaulding Street Elementary School, she is in 5th grade but learns the same thing every single year. Imagine how boring that would be considering how smart Melody is. She wants to express herself so badly, but she just can’t. Luckily, Mrs. Valencia (Mrs. V.) knows Melody and understands her well. Mrs. V is Melody’s neighbor. They have known each other since Melody was a newborn. They together go through a journey that helps Melody express herself. The first words Melody expresses to her parents will melt your heart. 

One of the great features Draper included in this book is that you actually feel like you are a part of Melody’s story. You will feel included. You will feel sad and heartbroken when doctors want to send Melody away. You will feel overjoyed and happy when Melody can express herself for the first time. There were really no down-points of this book in my opinion. It truly is a realistic, believable, heartwarming story. If you love realistic fiction books about how people overcome challenges in their life, this book is definitely for you. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars instantly.

If you have read Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and you enjoyed it, I know you will love this book. The books are similar, they are both about how girls overcome life challenges. I have read both books, and I know you will love both of them. If this book is for you, go get and read Out of my Mind! Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down. You will have to keep turning the pages! Now go read!

-Abby V.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is about George Milton and Lennie Small trying to find a job and settle. The reason that this is such a difficult task is because Lennie has what seems to be memory loss. He constantly forgets what George tells him. He also doesn’t understand what is right compared to what is wrong.

[Editor’s Note: Spoiler Warning]

This book tells of George and Lennie trying to find work in Soledad. They go to a ranch and speak with the boss before being told when to start working. When they are shown where they will sleep, they encounter the boss’ son Curley. Curley immediately starts trying to pick a fight with Lennie. As soon as Curley leaves, George warns Lennie about avoiding Curley at all costs. Curley’s wife, who Lennie is attracted to upon seeing her, is also a big problem.

After working for some time and getting to know other ranch hands, George and Lennie believe that they may be able to finally buy a house just for them. However, one day Curley’s wife finds Lennie alone and starts a conversation with him. She tells about how she could have gone to Hollywood and about her hair. She lets Lennie feel her hair, and he starts pulling on it. Curley’s wife cries out in pain, so Lennie covers her mouth out of fear of getting in trouble. He pulls on her hair more and more until he accidentally snaps her neck. When Curley finds out he goes to kill Lennie. George gets to Lennie first, and painlessly kills him so that Curley wouldn’t shoot him and let him bleed to death.

-E. Vargas

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded from Overdrive.