In Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind, we are introduced to Melody. Melody is almost eleven years old, and she has never spoken a word. She has cerebral palsy. Her disability limits her movement and her ability to speak, but her brain is just fine…but no one knows it. Melody has heaps of words piled up in her head. Words she wants to speak to her parents, words she wants to speak to her teachers and the kids at school, and words she just wants to use to be heard for once. Melody’s words are imprisoned in her own body, and she longs to break free.
With the help of some new technology–and inspiration from genius Stephen Hawking–Melody may have just found a way to communicate with the people around her. But will it be enough for them to accept that she’s just as smart–if not smarter–than they are? Or will they always see her as that weird girl in the wheelchair? How can Melody make them see that their own ignorance is a more crippling disability than what she faces every day? Read Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper to find out what happens when one girl finds her voice and let’s the world know who she really is.
I think every student, parent, educator, or anyone who works with children, especially children with special needs, should read this book. This book is a gripping portrayal of what life is like for one girl with cerebral palsy and how she struggles with misconceptions from the people around her. I think most people have been guilty of underestimating people with disabilities, and Out of My Mind could make people think before they continue to do this. In the words of Melody herself, “We all have disabilities. What’s yours?”