cover image Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Sharon M. Draper, read by Sisi Aisha Johnson. S&S Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-5082-2941-4

This long-overdue audio narration of Draper’s 2010 middle grade novel is a breakout performance for voice actress Johnson, who skillfully brings together childlike sensitivity and grown-up gravitas as she gives life to Draper’s character Melody Brooks. Confined to a wheelchair, Melody is physically trapped by cerebral palsy, but the condition hasn’t slowed her prodigious mind; Melody is a genius, as her parents have always suspected and her fifth-grade classmates and teachers are about to find out. Johnson captures Melody’s frustration when she cannot communicate, her elation when technological advances finally allow her to, and her sadness when others still regard her with fear or suspicion. Johnson also voices the novel’s other characters with wisdom and compassion, including Melody’s parents and the tough-as-nails neighbor who pushes the girl to excel. Older children and their parents will enjoy the way Johnson brings life to this unforgettable character. Ages 10–up. An Atheneum paperback. (Aug.)