Out of My Heart | Sharon M. Draper


Out of My Heart by Sharon M. Draper

Out Now from Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books; 352 pages 

Content Warnings: Mild language, medical trauma, bullying

About the Author: “Sharon M. Draper is a three-time New York Times bestselling author and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire, and was awarded the Charlotte Huck Award for Stella by Starlight. Her novel Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and was a New York Times bestseller for over three years, and Blended has also been a New York Times bestseller. She taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. She now lives in Florida. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.” (Bio taken from the publisher’s website.)

Find Sharon M. Draper on the following platforms:

Oh yeah. That’s me. The kid with the dreams inside. But here, somehow, when I looked up at the night sky, I could see my dreams up there, too.”

Melody Brooks is back, over a decade after the novel Out of My Mind first introduced readers to the intricate inner workings of the mind of a young girl with cerebral palsy. In this sequel, Melody continues to defy expectations about what she can and cannot do – this time, several hundred miles away from home at summer camp. At Camp Green Glades, Melody meets dozens of new kids who’ve grown up navigating physical challenges just like herself. The campers enjoy all the typical camp shenanigans – horseback riding, arts and crafts, swimming lessons, and rowdy campfire singalongs – while discovering the immeasurable value of meaningful friendships and finding the bravery to push beyond their comfort zones.

I began Melody’s story when I was ten years old and have revisited it countless times over the years since. This much-anticipated sequel did not disappoint! Out of My Heart satisfied my curiosity as to what became of Melody, and showed how she’d go on to amaze us with her incredible intelligence and insight into the world of a girl limited by her body but uplifted by her mind. Melody participates in experiences that she’d been told were impossible, conquering her own fears with confidence and humor, while maintaining the awkwardness of any eleven-year-old. I felt honored to witness Melody expand her horizons through her drive and determination (and her handy Medi-Talker). Draper’s ability to shape words through a synesthetic lens ensures an engaging reading experience ripe with fresh descriptions – the colors and sounds of the cacophony of camp life intermingled with emotions and thoughts emblematic of youth. Out of My Heart offers an oft-overlooked perspective of a girl whose diagnosis does not define her, while keeping it real about the trials and triumphs of self-expression and independence as a young girl. 

PRR Writer, Chloe Penna