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Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind is so beloved, there’s nothing new that I can say about it here. I’ve been waiting for what feels like years to read this novel, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that it is checked out to a student every single day of the entire school year. I had to wait until library checkout ended for the year to snag it. Out of My Mind lets us peek inside the brain of Melody, who has Cerebral Palsy. Her disability leaves her unable to control her body, so she can’t walk, feed or dress herself, or even talk. Seeing her wheelchair and her inability to speak for herself, people assume that she’s mentally retarded, but in actuality, Melody is incredibly gifted. It’s a heartbreaking look into the way differently abled people are treated, even by those who think that they are being kind. The best books make you think and question and want to be better, and Out of My Mind did that for me. I’ll finish with a quote from a fourth grader’s book review on Out of My Mind from last year: "Read this bittersweet book and realize that when you think some days are hard, there’s always someone else in the world that has it harder than you do." Empathy, gratitude, and perspective, because of a book. Beautiful. #bookreview #empathy
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