In 2010, Sharon Draper brought Melody to life in Out of My Mind. Melody is a young girl whose mind is full of curiosity and vast amounts of information but Cerebral Palsy makes it difficult for her to participate and communicate with her classmates and peers. Out of My Mind helps the reader look at disabilities and accessibility in a different way. Now, over a decade later, Sharon M. Draper has brought Melody back to us. Melody is now a year older and on the cusp of her teenage years. Melody is looking for the independence and experiences that all girls her age strive for. Out of My Heart is the tale of Melody’s pursuits of these experiences at summer camp.

Meet author Sharon M. Draper as she reads an excerpt from her new novel, Out of My Heart.

This novel helps the reader look at more experiences and roadblocks that kids living with disabilities face. At camp, Melody makes friends with different kids her age who face similar and different challenges. Melody finds camaraderie and true friendship with kids that can really relate, all while facing fears of trying new challenges. Melody’s world is opened up, as are the reader’s eyes, as they experience the challenges of accessibility that are out there for kids like Melody.

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From the Book Jacket:

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.




Try a free sample of the novel study for Out of My Heart

Take your students on this new journey to camp with Melody. Your students will see themselves while they learn about the challenges that are faced every day by those living with disabilities. This helps open eyes and builds empathy to help students strive to make experiences in life accessible to all. 

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Out of My Heart, which includes informational WebQuests to learn more about Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome for use in the classroom or in homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

You can also buy Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart bundled together at a discount!




Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!


Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!


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