For the past eleven years Melody has wanted to tell people her thoughts, but unfortunately because of her cerebral palsy she is unable to communicate. People mistakingly think that she isn't smart, but really she has a photographic memory and notices everything. Melody could tell you every detail from her childhood and understands complex ideas. But people look at her and all they see is drool and the fact that she can't control her arms and legs. This frustrates Melody, but she can’t seem to make most people understand what she thinks, even with the words she has taped to her tray. She needs more words! Most of elementary school is spent in a class with other kids that also have special needs, and the work is way too easy for her. But finally she's in an inclusion class, and she gets to be with the other kids. She looks forward to the classes even though no one knows what she's thinking. After looking at a classmate’s laptop she comes up with the idea to get a talking communication device so she can finally tell everybody else what she's thinking. Suddenly Melody has a way to tell everyone her thoughts. Sure it takes a little longer and it takes practice, but people don’t need to wonder what she is thinking, she is no longer a puzzle to those around her. It seems like the pieces are finally falling into place. But does everyone want to hear what she has to say? Will Melody’s thoughts fit with the picture they have already created about her in their minds? Will people treat her differently now that they know she is smart? Is there any way for Melody to make the History Quiz Team now that she can communicate? You have to read this book to find out how communication changes Melody’s life.
When I read Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper I didn't know what to expect, but I was pulled in by Melody’s story. My heart went out to her knowing that she was just like everybody else inside. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have everyone misunderstand my wants and needs! This book was a reminder that although we all know that most people are similar, no matter how they look; most of us don't treat them that way. I realized how important it is to remember that any one of us could look or seem one way to others, but inside we could be someone totally different. It was so eye-opening to watch Melody puzzle through the world around her and try to fit it in. I highly recommend this book to kids from third grade and up. Adults everywhere will also enjoy the story and will learn a thing or two. Anyone who has ever felt misunderstood will relate to Melody and the struggles she's going through. You'll have to read this one to find out how it all works out! Since I have finished it, I have been thinking about the way I might treat people without even realizing it. I look forward to reading more books by this author!
Has anyone else read Out of My Mind? Or have you read another book by Sharon Draper? We’d love to hear your thoughts!