Claire’s Letter Essay #4

Claire Kocis





Out of My Mind


Recently I finished the novel Out of My Mind,  a 295 page book by Sharon Draper. This book is a realistic fiction book. Out of My Mind  is about a girl named Melody who has disabilities and can’t move or speak. Melody struggles in school and everyone treats her like a little kid. All Melody wants is to be treated normally for once. This book has won many awards. One of the major awards that this book has one is a New York Times Best Selling novel for almost two years. Out of my mind was chosen for many other awards as well one being, 2011 IRA Teachers Choice Book and a 2011 IRA Young Adults Choice as well as the Best Book of the Year. These aren’t the only awards this book has one. This book has one 11 other awards. Sharon M Draper has written 31 books. All of her books are different genres. I choose this book because it caught my interest and I’m glad that I read it and I would read it again.


In the novel Out of My Mind, the main character Melody struggles. Melody has a disease called Cerebral Palsy. Melody is treated differently than everyone else even though she can still learn, but she struggles. Melodys aid treats her like a little kid and Melody is done with it. Everyone thinks Melody is really stupid but she actually is really smart. Melodys teacher has her on kindergarten levels of math and reading. Melody doesn’t have many friends. Her only friend is Rose who sometimes leaves Melody for Molly and Claire who are bullies to Melody since she has a disabilities. At melody’s school there is an upcoming spelling bee and if you win you can go all the way to Washington D.C. Melody talks to her mom about doing this but her mom thinks that she will disappoint herself by doing this. Melody begs her aid and her mom to do it. They end up letting her but they are very doubtful. Melody prepares for the bee for months and months. The day of the bee has come and all she want to do is prove people wrong.


I liked the way the author used so much description. When the author uses a lot of description it makes the book more fun to read and the purpose of the book. Without the description in the book it would be very boring. I think that the author also did a really nice job by describing the characters. The author didn’t just describe she described them in a way that made the book so much better. Another thing I liked was the word choices in the book. They made it so that the book wasn’t so boring with plain words. The author used describing words that made the book so much better.


This novel had a ton of character development. The most character development took place on Melody and Melody’s aid named Catherine. In the beginning of the book Melody was too scared to say anything to anyone about the way that they treated her. Melody was especially too scared to say anything to Catherine the aid and Molly and Claire. Since everyone treated Melody differently she was always worried what people were saying about her. Once Melody was brave enough to go through the spelling bee and stick up for herself she didn’t really care what people thought about her anymore. Melody then just lived life without having to worry about what people thought. Catherine, Melody’s aid, also changes a lot in this book. In the beginning of the book Catherine treated Melody like she was some dumb stupid 5th grader that was still learning kindergarten stuff. She was never nice to her and never supported her either. Then Melody proved Catherine wrong and everything started to change for Catherine and Melody.


The genre of this book is realistic fiction. Honestly, I couldn’t see this book as any other genre. If it had to be another genre I would either think it should be mystery or fiction. If it was fiction it might be a little more interesting than it is now. If it was fiction the author could add some more actions that are unbelieveable and be able to make it more fun to read. If it was a mystery the author could make it so something scary is going to happen or something like that. I feel like if the author did that she would have to change the whole purpose of the book.


Since everyone treated Melody differently throughout the entire book I thought the passage I have chosen is a good passage. Melody’s third grade teacher refers to Melody as “ these children”. Her teacher had said “ These children need constant review because they don’t retain information like the rest of us.” (p.56) I thought this connected really well to what Melody’s feelings are. Melody doesn’t think any of this is right about the way they get treated. I would give this book a 9 out of 10. I think it was really good and I would definitely re-read it.



Claire Kocis

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1 thought on “Claire’s Letter Essay #4

  1. Claire,
    This is a thoughtful and thorough letter-essay – except for the quoted passage part. Please: for future essays, quote a PASSAGE of writing, not just a QUOTE from the novel. A passage is at least a paragraph, sometimes more. Thank you.
    Mr. Jockers

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