One Book, One City for Kids

One Book, One City for Kids, a citywide reading initiative for 5th graders, announces this year’s selection is “Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper.

One Book, One City for Kids is an annual reading program encouraging fifth graders to read and discuss the same book each winter. The program also strives to encourage a life-long love of reading among students, inspire readers to bring story ideas and themes to life through discussion and build collaborative ties between public libraries and area schools.

As a part of this program, all fifth graders in the Grand Rapids Public Schools will receive a copy of the book and discuss it as part of their curriculum. One Book, One City for Kids is funded entirely by a grant from the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation.


About Out of My Mind

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it.

Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently, her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons over and over again. If only she could speak up; if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice, but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.


About the Author

Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator and an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards and is a New York Times bestselling author, with “Out of My Mind” holding a secure spot on the list for over 18 months. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year and was chosen as an NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner.

Draper is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement and the recipient of the Dean’s Award from Howard University School of Education, the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award and the Governor’s Educational Leadership Award.

Last year, Draper was named Ohio Pioneer in Education by the Ohio State Department of Education. In 2008, she received the Beacon of Light Humanitarian award and in 2009 she received the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University. In 2011, Draper received the Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of adolescent literature by The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as the 33rd Annual Jeremiah Luddington Award by the Educational Book and Media Association, also for lifetime achievement.

Draper has been honored at the White House six times and was chosen as one of four authors in the country to speak at the National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C. She represented the United States in Moscow at their Book Festival. Her book, “Copper Sun” has been selected by the U.S. State Department and the International Reading Association as the United States novel for the international reading project called Reading Across Continents. Students in the U.S., Nigeria and Ghana are reading the book and sharing ideas—a true intercontinental, cross-cultural experience.

Draper will visit several GRPS schools in early March and host a public talk at the Main Library on Monday, Mar. 6, at 5 p.m.



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