Friday Reads, Out of My Heart, by Sharon M. Draper

A year after the events in the March 2010 title, Out of My Mind, we join Melody during summer vacation.  She wants to go to camp and has researched camps that are designed to provide experiences for children with disabilities.  The Green Glades Therapeutic Recreational Camp – here comes Melody!  Her experiences are believable, her apprehension as well as eagerness to go and to participate. The reader learns more about Melody and her feelings, hopes, and readiness for adventure. 

For the first time in her life, Melody has friends, though it takes just a little while for her campmates to gel into true friends.  Her parents, especially her mother, are reassured that each camper will have a camp counselor assigned to them all day (and night) every day.  Melody was thinking she didn’t want to be monitored all the time, like her younger sister, she is 12 after all. 

But then, during the week she is at camp, Melody faces several new situations.  She is scared to get into the pool – what if she sinks? Trinity, her counselor, is there for her.  They go for a ride around the lake on a pontoon boat – what if it takes on water? No problem, Trinity is there.  But horses, they are huge, and how can Melody ride one?  The camp has it all worked out and Trinity rides with her.

Some of the best things about this book are all the wonderful new experiences for Melody, the safety of the camp, and her new friends.  Also, there are no mean girls or bullies.  It may seem like a week of unbelievable opportunities – but there are camps like this around the country.  Readers who wanted to know what happened next for Melody, after the first book, will be surprised and happy for Melody’s first camp experience.


Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Heart. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2021. ISBN 978-1-6659-0216-8.

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