Given my schedule over the next few days, I thought I would post the backlog of books I have read and not wait to post one a day. Several of my tweeps on Twitter recommended Sharon Draper's OUT OF MY MIND (Simon and Schuster 2010). It finally arrived last week and I took it along to San Angelo with me. Sat up late reading it the night before my workshop. It is totally engrossing.
When I opened to the first chapter, my immediate response was, "Man, I want this on a poster!" Let me give you just a taste here:
I'm surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.
Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.
Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes-each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.
Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts..." (p. 1)
And it is all about words and how they can make our lives into whatever we can imagine. Draper's novel is the story of a young girl with severe handicaps due to CP. Despite her handicaps, though, Melody is one brilliant child. She eats words hungrily, storing them inside, hoping to be able to release them into the air as others do so effortlessly. Most people dismiss Melody; they do not see the incredible mind that is trapped inside her. Draper recounts a year in the life of Melody as she continues to drink in information and, finally, finds a way to express herself more fully.
The language is raw and spare and perfect. Draper is able to convey so completely Melody's frustrations and fears and an entire range of emotions by giving her the voice of the narrator of this slim yet powerful book. Read this book. Come to know Melody. She is someone you will remember meeting for a long time. I know she has left an indelible mark on my heart. <283>
Reading Ladder suggestions: STUCK IN NEUTRAL, RULES, JERK CALIFORNIA, DOODLEBUG.