The following books, like Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind, are about kids who use their unique perspectives to change the world around them. If your child loved Draper’s modern classic, they would love these books, too! Each of these stories is sure to inspire and empower your child.
Why Do Young Readers Love Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind?
Readers love Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind because it is a powerful story about a young girl, misunderstood due to her disability. Melody is an excellent student, but no one understands her except her teacher, Mr. Martin. When she falls into a coma after being in a car accident, Melody must use all of her intelligence to communicate with those around her. Melody’s strength and courage in the face of adversity inspires readers.
If your child enjoyed reading Out of My Mind, they would likely enjoy books with similar themes!
Books Like Out of My Mind
A lightning strike gave her a superpower…but even a super genius can’t solve the problem of middle school. This brilliant and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.
The bestselling middle-grade novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is about a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome. They navigate the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship—all while solving a mystery in a western theme park.
The extraordinary New York Times bestseller is about what you can do when life gives you a second chance.
From the moment Jessica arrives, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica was severely burned in a fire. She will attend St. Catherine’s while receiving medical treatments. Despite her appearance and the fear she evokes in him, Tom develops a tentative friendship with Jessica. If your reader loves Out of my Mind, they’ll enjoy Firegirl, too!
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all with an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship. It changes lives and lasts a lifetime. Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves through this friendship.
Melody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the middle-grade novel Out of My Mind. Here is the sequel your Out of My Mind fan has been looking for!
Seven students are about to have their lives changed by one excellent teacher in this school story filled with unique characters.
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this moving middle-grade novel is about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
One for the Murphys gives readers an uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who ever thought something was wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. For fans of books like Out of My Mind and Counting By 7s.
Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, and the astonishing wonder of the universe. After her best friend dies, Suzy thinks the actual cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting. Things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe alone.
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real.
In the tradition of Wonder and Out of My Mind, this debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.
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Eleven-year-old Joe has never had a life outside of the hospital, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he can’t go outside, not even for a moment. His few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his bubble. Then a new nurse offers Joe the possibility of going outside. But Joe doesn’t know if the nurse is serious—or whether he could survive the adventure. For fans of books like Out of My Mind and Counting By 7s!
This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. She’s sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher.
This Newbery Honor Book is a heartfelt and witty story about feeling different and finding acceptance–beyond the rules. This book is for fans of books like Out of My Mind & Counting By 7s!
Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. He shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are.
In one month, Jeremy Fink will turn thirteen. But does he have what it takes to be a teenager? He collects mutant candy and won’t venture more than four blocks from his apartment if he can help it. He really doesn’t like surprises. His best friend, Lizzy, isn’t afraid of anything, even if that might get her into trouble now and then.
Ross Maloy wants to be a typical seventh grader. He doesn’t want to lose his hair, wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don’t know what to say to “the cancer kid.” But with his recent diagnosis of rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table. For fans of books like Out of My Mind, Wink has heart!
Charity may have mad math skills and a near-perfect memory, but with a mouth that can’t speak and a body that jumps, rocks, and howls unpredictably, most people incorrectly assume she cannot learn. Charity’s brain works differently from most people’s because of her autism, but she’s still funny, determined, and kind. So why do people treat her like a disease or ignore her like she’s invisible?
The Chance to Fly is a heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity—from Tony award-winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz.
In the spirit of Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the award-winning story of a deaf girl’s connection to a whale whose song can’t be heard by his species and her journey to help him.
What Stars Are Made Of is a pitch-perfect, heartwarming middle-grade novel about growing up, finding yourself, and loving people with everything you’re made of. Your child will love this one if they enjoy books like Out of My Mind, One for the Murpheys, and The Misadventures of Lightning Girl!
Deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha’s Vineyard in the early 19th century. This piercing exploration of ableism, racism, and colonialism inspires readers to examine core beliefs and question what is “normal.”
Natalie’s uplifting story of using the scientific process to “save” her mother from depression is what Booklist calls “a winning story full of heart and action.”
Maddie has a quirky sense of humor and a fondness for sporting fake mustaches, the more outrageous-looking, the better. Her world is turned upside down when she’s diagnosed with a brain tumor. Readers will take the journey with her as she battles her illness and encounters the usual obstacles of growing up by using her imagination to conquer her fears, her humor to stay optimistic, and her compassion to stay connected to others in a meaningful way. Innocently and unknowingly, her example encourages those around her.
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe Mason’s story about that day.
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Caitlin has Asperger’s. The world according to her, is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon was killed in a school shooting, and Caitlin’s dad is so distraught that he is not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to return to the way things were, but she doesn’t know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure, realizing this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be so black and white after all.
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. She tries to hide her TS when she and her mother move again. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is―an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?
Perfect for readers of Song for a Whale and Counting by 7s, neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different.
Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.
For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7’s, award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling story about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy with bipolar disorder. Their powerful journey, perfect for fans of Wonder, will shred your heart and stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.
Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner Bayani (hero).
Niki has to decide who her real friends should be and where her real interests lie. Meanwhile, life at home is complicated. Niki’s nine-year-old brother Danny continues to act out more and more publicly. Their mother refuses to admit that Danny is somewhere on the autism spectrum, but it’s clear he needs help. Niki doesn’t want to be like her brother, to be labeled as different. She wants to be popular! Is she a bad sister and a bad best friend?
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong–until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She’s not a Murphy, but the gifts they’ve given her have opened up a new future.
Is There a Sequel to Out of My Mind?
Yes, there is a sequel to Out of My Mind! It’s called Out of My Heart:
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.
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