Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Melody. Melody lives in a wheelchair. But that’s not all.

I can’t talk. I can’t walk. I can’t feed myself or take myself to the bathroom. Big bummer. (page 3)

What’s worse is that nobody knows that there is a smart mind inside the body that won’t work. And that mind isn’t just regular smart, it’s brilliant. Melody has a photographic memory for words. She is so full of thoughts she’s about to explode.

In fifth grade Melody’s school finally has inclusion classes and she is able to join her classmates in a “regular” classroom.

They’d probably be surprised to know that I knew all their names. I’ve watched them on the playground at lunch and at recess for years. (page 93)

That part about rips my heart out actually. Up to this point, Melody points to cards attached to her wheelchair to try to communicate. That sure wouldn’t be very many words. That’s like being eleven and only being able to use the number of words that 2 year olds can use. So, say you’re Melody and you’re looking at a clothes magazine with your mom and all you can do is point and say “pretty” if you like something. You can’t say, “that shirt is cool, can I get the blue one? Nikki had one like that on yesterday and I really liked it.” Not the same at all!!!

When a classmate brings in a new laptop Melody dreams of a computer adapted so that she can use it. Melody discovers there IS a computer designed for people like her and when that computer comes into her life and into her classroom, it’s a whole new world for Melody, her parents, her sister and for her classmates too. It is time for all of them to meet Melody, the real Melody. The real Melody is a big surprise, especially to some of the kids in her class.

I’m not trying to be mean – honest – but it just never occurred to me that Melody had thoughts in her head. (page 143)

This book is just plain terrific. I love a book that shows me a character I have never met before, a character I want to know about. How does it feel to be so underestimated? How does it feel to be constantly left out? How does it feel to be talked about in front of your face like you are deaf or can’t understand? Since being like Melody is hard for me to imagine myself, I loved having Melody herself tell me what that’s like.

And I also just liked Melody. She’s strong and stubborn and has a wicked sense of humor. One thing she is NOT, is helpless. It was terrific to meet her. Author: Sharon Draper

If you liked reading about Melody I think you’ll also like Jason in Anything But Typical. Jason writes his own story too. He writes about what it feels like to have autism. Miss Spitfire is about Helen Keller and She Touched the World is about Laura Bridgman. Both of these women were deaf AND blind…but learned to communicate through finger spelling. Both these women learned to read and write and were able to write books to tell other people what it feels like to be a person trapped inside a body that won’t work.
Anything But Typical Miss Spitfire She Touched the World
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