Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Will the Pieces Fall Into Place?


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!
 Happy reading!
~L

39 comments:

  1. Great review, I would be fearful of reading this book just in case it's powerful emotions, overwhelm me. thank you

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    1. Terence- I am glad you enjoyed the review. It is a powerful book and there is a chance it will bring out strong emotions! :) ~L

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  2. Intriguing review that really makes you stop and think about the powerful concept. I never thought of this one, but have wondered about the stories of folks in coma's being able to hear everything going on around them but unable to communicate. I love the book cover, so symbolic of the intriguing story. Thanks for pointing this one out!

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    1. Anna- I enjoyed your thoughtful comment. I think after reading this one many people will think more about what people can hear who may not be able to communicate. It was very thought-provoking for sure. I agree- the cover is very symbolic for the story. Hope you get to read this one! :) ~L

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  3. This looks fabulous! And really intense. I have a couple of students who are paralyzed or have similar disabilities and I find myself always worried I treat them differently.

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    1. Meradeth- I think you will enjoy this one. It makes you think about the way we treat people- even if we don't mean to treat them differently. Very intense! :) ~L

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    2. M Pax- I am responding here because for some reason it wouldn't let me reply near your comment. It is an interesting read! :) ~L

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  4. I haven't read it yet, but it's going on my list... Sounds like quite the read.

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    1. F.T. Bradley- It is a book worth reading for sure. Enjoy! :) ~L

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  5. Another book that teaches some important life lessons. I really like the cover as well.

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    1. Heidi- A great book to help teach kids and adults about how to treat others. :) ~L

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    1. Roger- You are welcome! Enjoy! :) ~L

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  7. Sounds like an interesting read. Adding to my list now.

    Nas

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  8. I haven't read it, but it sounds like another wonderful read.

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    1. Donna- I hope you get to read this one- it is truly wonderful. :) ~L

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  9. Ugh. I want to read it! It would be weird to know that you are smart and capable but no one else sees you like that. I can imagine the frustration. I'm frustrated just thinking about it! This reminds me of Rules by Cynthia Lord. They are both such small books with real impact. They make you think. I love when books can challenge my perspective :D

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    1. Adriana- I felt so bad for Melody and I kept thinking how awful it would be to not be able to communicate. Talk about frustrating. I can see why it reminds you of Rules. It has that same sort of feel and they both help to open our eyes. :) ~L

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  10. I haven't read this book but I LOVE the sound of it. What a wonderful thing to get the word out there that a disabled person has so many abilities. So many people think anyone in a wheelchair or who looks a bit different is somehow subhuman. Thanks for doing this review. I must find this book and read more of this author.

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    1. Denise- I agree with you! It is so wonderful that this book was written and that so many people can now look at people with disabilities in a different light. We need to start looking beyond what we see on the surface! Enjoy! :) ~L

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  11. This sounds like such a heart wrenching and yet positive read, thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Petty- You described it perfectly! A super read! :) ~L

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  12. This is quite the topic and so compelling. I love books that tackle issues kids can learn from. Excellent.

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    1. Lee- This is definitely a great book for kids and adults to learn from. :) ~L

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  13. Sharon is so wonderful and brave for doing the research to present all the details challenging such an inspirational character. Congrats to her on her book, and I wish her much success! :-)

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    1. Lexa- I couldn't agree more! I am sure the research that went into writing this book was extensive! :) ~L

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  14. Wonderful review! It sounds like such a great book!

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    1. Cherie- Thanks! It is an awesome book! :) ~L

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  15. I have not read anything by this author but this book sounds very special!

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    1. Patty- This author was new to me, too! A great book! :) ~L

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  16. Wow, this sounds like a really powerful story. The whole arc that she grows, and I suspect that her talking device doesn't solve all her problems—maybe creates new ones! But that's universal. Melody sounds like an intriguing POV character, lens through which to see these issues. I haven't heard of this author. Will have to check her out! Heidi

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    1. Heidi- This author was new to me, too! It was great to read this book through Melody's eyes. I like that the book isn't "happily ever after" and that it is real. The talking device isn't going to solve all of Melody's problems- but it will definitely change her life. This book gave me so much to think about. I hope you enjoy it! :)~L

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  17. Ohh, first time seeing this! Pretty cover :D Love it. Sounds like an awesome book. Glad you enjoyed it :) Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. Carina- It is a pretty cover and definitely catches your eye. Out of My Mind is an awesome book! Thanks for stopping by. :) ~L

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  18. I've been meaning to read this. I'm bumping it up on my TBR list.

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    1. Erik- Enjoy! I can't wait to read your review. :) ~L

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  19. This book really did touch me. I read this one in the library but loved it so much I had to go and buy my own personal copy. I think Sharon M Draper did a wonderful job of showing how hard it can be to be trapped inside a body like you described, and the struggles that followed after Melody was given a voice as well!

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