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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

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This story is told from the eleven year old, Melody Brooks's point of view, who was born with cerebral palsy. Melody can not do the everyday tasks that able people can do without even thinking about it such as walking, feeding ourselves, and going to the bathroom. Her parents work very hard to take care of her, and her next door neighbor named Mrs. V is Melody’s part time caregiver.  Melody is very intelligent, but at age 5 she went to the doctor's for the doctor to determine how smart and if she is able to enroll in school. The doctor concluded Melody is severely brain damaged and needs to attend a school for the developmentally disabled. Melody’s mother disapproved of the doctor's opinion,  and chose to enroll Melody in Spaulding Street Elementary School because she believes Melody has so much potential and intelligence.

    In fifth grade her parents get Melody an electric wheelchair that gives her a new sense of freedom.  They also order a device her and Catherine found, Medi-Talker, that provides a voice for her thoughts. In History class, Melody participated in an exercise her school’s Wiz Kids team took and she happened to receive a perfect score on the test. She then tries out for the team and gets another perfect score making her a member of the team. Even though she is now a part of the team, she doesn’t feel like she belongs. The team then goes to a competition in Washington D.C. leaving Melody behind. By the end of fifth grade, Melody realizes she is not so different from everyone else after all.

    I would recommend this book for middle schoolers and up because this book has the power to influence people and how they treat others. I personally enjoyed this book and found it very powerful. This book was a beautiful story written of a girl who suffers from cerebral palsy, but doesn’t let that define her. She knows she is capable of so much more and proved others wrong by not giving up. The perseverance she has is inspiring and is a great message in the book for readers.



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