quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green



Title: Out of My Heart 
Authors(s): Sharon M. Draper
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 352 pgs
PublisherAtheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - Audible - B&N - BAM! - iBooks - Kobo - TBD - Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
11/8/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
11/8/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
11/9/2021 - bookblogarama - Excerpt
11/9/2021 - Little Red Reads - Review
11/10/2021 - Locks, Hooks and Books - Review
11/10/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
11/11/2021 - Bri's Book Nook - Review
11/11/2021 - Sparetimereader - Review
11/12/2021 - More Books Please Blog - Review
11/12/2021 - OneMoreExclamation - Review

Week Two
11/15/2021 - Wilted Pages - Review
11/15/2021 - Don't Judge, Read - Excerpt
11/16/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
11/16/2021 - BookHounds YA - Review
11/17/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
11/17/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review
11/18/2021 - Not In Jersey - Review
11/18/2021 - @bookshelfmomma - Review
11/19/2021 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
11/19/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review

The Summary

Melody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling middle grade novel Out of My Mind.

Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own—the dream!

By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.

"A deeply satisfying and worthy continuation of a beloved story." (Kirkus Reviews, STARRED September 15, 2021)

“Melody Brooks, a smart, determined 12-year-old diagnosed with cerebral palsy, returns in this sequel to 2010’s Out of My Mind. Longing for independence from her family and daily routines, she persuades her parents to let her attend Camp Green Glades, a summer camp for kids with disabilities in her home state of Ohio. With the help of her Jamaican American counselor Trinity and three cabinmates, Melody navigates new experiences—including zip-lining, horseback riding, and a first crush. Melody’s voice is as wryly funny as ever, and the supporting cast, which features kids and adults of various ethnicities and disabilities, treat her with respect and empathy… it’s impossible not to be charmed by the witty protagonist’s affirming, frequently ecstatic discovery of what it means to be part of a community that truly understands her.”
(Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW* October 11, 2021)

My Review

I really hope that everyone has gotten to read Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, the first book in this duology, because while you can enjoy Out of My Heart without having read it, there is so much more to Melody that you need to know before you can appreciate the amazing, transformational experience she goes on at summer camp.

Quick recap to give context (this is the barest of bare minimum's so please read Out of My Mind to get everything): Melody has cerebral palsy, and she cannot communicate the way most people do because of that.  Also, due to this, many people in her life think she isn't intelligent; kids in her class, teachers, and even doctors!  But Melody has a photographic memory and is extremely intelligent.  Once she receives a "Medi-talker", a machine that can speak for her via text-to-speech, she has the means to communicate and show everyone just how smart she really is.

Out of My Heart takes place the summer after the school year explored in Out of My Mind, where Melody has gotten more and more confident in herself because she has the means to finally make herself heard.  With that comes a desire to explore the world outside of her norm, and do things other kids do: like summer camp.  She thinks there must be a camp for kids like her, and she sets off, with the help of her favorite librarian (yes for librarians!). Melody researches different options, and then makes her case to her parents.  Of course, she convinces them because Melody knows what's up!

What Draper does so beautifully in both books is delve into the emotionality of Melody.  The reader spends a lot of time, understandably, in Melody's head, and because of that, they get to see the complexity of each situation Melody has to face.  Melody is away from her whole support system for the first time, which can be nerve-wracking for a kid who isn't reliant on other people, let alone someone like Melody who needs help with a multitude of things.  But this never stops her from trying, even things that might be scary.  And that is the beautiful thing about Melody's spirit that Draper makes clear.  She isn't easily defeated.

The summer camp experience broadens Melody's horizons, and does show her how capable she is, and what joy she can get out of life.  It also brings a delightful cast of supporting characters, through the camp counselors and her fellow campers.  The camp, Camp Green Glades, is made to be accessible for kids with all sorts of disabilities, and Draper crafts those different experiences in a way that always shines a light on the fact that their lives aren't lesser because of these disabilities, just different.  I really appreciate that, because as Melody herself mentions, it isn't just kids who make her, and others like her, feel crummy about themselves, it's adults too.

This is a beautiful expansion on the original story.  So full of joy and strength, the reader won't help but cheer and cheer and cheer for Melody as she learns just how joyful and strong her soul is.  An important book to keep in libraries and classrooms, I really urge you to pick up Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart, to learn all about this very special character that Sharon M. Draper has introduced to the world!

Final Rating

About the Author

Katie Schneider Photography

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.

2 winners will receive a finished copy of OUT OF MY HEART, US Only.


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