Katharine’s Letter Essay #3: Out of My Mind

Dear Classmates,

Recently, I finished reading Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. This book is 295 pages and realistic fiction. Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and her novel Out of My Mind is a very well known book. Out of My Mind is now available in 20 different languages. As stated on the back cover of the book by The Denver Post “ If there’s only one book teens and parents and everyone else can read this year, Out of My Mind should be it.” I chose to read this book because many people have recommended it and said they enjoyed reading it. I loved this book and it is definitely a book that everyone should read. 

Melody is not like most people. She can’t talk or walk, and she has a photographic memory. She is one of the smartest people in her whole school, but no one knows that because no one can understand her. Her neighbor, Mrs V., is a caring and nice women and she pushes Melody to do the best she can, and she is one of few who believes Melody is a very smart girl. Melody discovers a device that will allow her to speak and communicate her thoughts so she isn’t stuck inside of her head all the time. When Melody enters fifth grade, her new teacher starts inclusion classes, where Melody can participate in all of the regular classes, and she gets an aide, Catherine. All of her classmates assume that she is dumb, but when she passes a trivia exam with a perfect score, people start to think otherwise. Melody then gets to participate in the final trivia exam to determine who will be representing their school in Washington, D.C. Melody makes the team. The team does well in the competition in Washington D.C, and now will go to the national trivia competition. But will Melody ever make it there, or will her team ditch her?

In the novel, I was angry about how Melody’s classmates would make fun of her and not try and be friends with her. Melody has Cerebral Palsy. Many of her classmates knew about her condition and they would still not talk to her or try and become friends with her. This made me angry because it was rude how someone who didn’t have an easy life was treated horribly by people who were supposed to be her classmates and friends. Also, another part that made me angry was when Melody’s teacher, Mr. Dimming’s talked to Catherine, Melody’s aide, about Melody when she was sitting right there. He didn’t even talk to Melody about her, he pretended like she wasn’t there. Also, he said that the trivia quiz must have been too easy because Melody passed it. This made me angry because he was a teacher and supposed to be encouraging Melody and be proud of her because she had done so well, but instead he just made fun of her with the rest of the class thinking that Melody wasn’t listening and understanding what he was saying.

The character development throughout the novel was very interesting. In the beginning of the novel, Melody Brooks was very shy and unsure of herself. She too, like all of the doctors and specialists believed that she could never do anything because she couldn’t say anything, and she thought for just a second that she wasn’t smart. When Melody is with Mrs. V,. she believes that she can do whatever she wants no matter what her condition and Mrs. V,. believes in her too. By the end of the novel Melody was strong, and she could now communicate her thoughts and ideas using her new technology. She also believed in herself because she made the trivia team and helped them win in the first competition. In the end of the novel, Melody also stood up for herself, and she told Claire and Molly, the two bullies at school, to stop. The character development was very visible in the novel, Out of My Mind.

I liked the way the author used many metaphors and how she also explained exactly what Melody was thinking. One passage that stood out to me that showed the author’s craft was in the first page of the book when Melody was explaining her life and how she can’t talk. She said “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 (pg 1).” What I love about this passage was how from the first page of the book you could tell that the author was going to use many metaphors to describe what Melody was thinking and feeling, to help the reader understand her position and what her life was like.

This book was very good and an easy read. I suggest it to anyone who enjoys reading realistic fiction. I would rate this book a 7 out of 10



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3 thoughts on “Katharine’s Letter Essay #3: Out of My Mind

  1. Dear Katharine,

    I really liked your letter essay! I have read Out of My Mind before and it is so good! I especially liked your quote that you chose. I think that it was very important and really explains her feeling and what is going on in her head. What I disagree with is that your rated the book a 7 out of 10. I really thought that the book was much better! Overall I really enjoyed your letter essay.

    -Olivia Parcells

  2. Dear Katherine,

    I really liked reading your letter essay and I can tell you put a lot of effort into it. Something I think you could work on is adding a little more text evidence, so that the reading has some examples of what you’re referring to as you analyze the text. I remember reading Out of My Mind, and I remember also getting upset at her teacher and classmates for being so rude. I think that this book was written from a very interesting perspective because of Melody’s condition.


  3. Dear Katharine,
    I really enjoyed your letter essay. It was overall very elaborate and detailed. That showed lots of effort put into it. It also shows that you really understood the book and the assignment. I also really enjoyed the quote. One thing you could work on is using direct evidence straight from the book. Overall very good job!

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