Critical reception has been positive and seen as a well-written novel. Out of My Mind has received reviews from The Denver Post, The Columbus Dispatch, Publishers Weekly, Children's Literature, Washington Post, The Horn Book, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. The novel received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus Reviews praised the book was "rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy", and "descriptions of both Melody’s challenges—“Going to the bathroom at school just plain sucks”—and the insensitivities of some are unflinching and realistic". Publishers Weekly criticized that there was a "lack of tension in the plot", although it was "resolved halfway through". Booklist stated that Out of My Mind is "a book that defies age categorization, an easy enough read for upper-elementary students yet also a story that will enlighten and resonate with teens and adults". The Bulletin said the novel "[Will make] students think twice about their classmates, acquaintances, and siblings with special needs". The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) stated "Draper challenges those who read her story to become activists for those who are different". The Denver Post powerfully concluded: "if there's only one book teens and parents (and everyone else) can read this year, Out of My Mind should be it." VOYA Magazine praised "Melody's triumphs and setbacks as she strives to become a socially accepted classmate and team member are vividly described in this inspirational novel, which will appeal not only to middle school readers but also to anyone who wonders what might be going on in the minds of individuals with severe physical handicaps". The Horn Book exclaimed that the novel is "a powerfully eye-opening book with both an unforgettable protagonist and a rich cast of fully realized, complicated background characters". Children's Literature said "this is a genuinely moving novel". The Washington Post commented "author Sharon Draper creates an authentic character who insists, through her lively voice and indomitable will, that the reader become fully involved with the girl in the pink wheelchair".
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