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Out of My Mind- Sharon Draper

October 27, 2021

    Out of My Mind is a realistic fiction novel. The author, Sharon Drapel was inspired to write the novel because she has a disabled daughter whom she believes is very smart. The main character of the story is Melody, an eleven year old girl with cerebral palsy. Melody was labeled by her doctor as mentally retarded. Melody's mother enrolled her in a public school to give her the opportunities she needed to succeed. Melody's body is stiff and her muscles are weak, forcing her to use a wheelchair. Melody also cannot communicate and at the beginning of the novel, Melody uses a lot of her body to communicate her wants, needs, and feelings. Melody hates her special education class because it is so boring. Melody is a very bright student who does not have the ability to verbally express her knowledge. She knows that she does not belong in the special education room, but her  inability to speak makes it difficult for her to participate in class. 

    Not being able to express her own thoughts and concerns makes things very difficult for Melody, hence why she has to fight to get what she wants. Eventually, Melody is given a computer that helps her communicate regularly with her peers. Melody eventually gets the opportunity to participate in a trivia competition. Melody is still being judged based on her physical appearance. This is something that she continues to face despite her accomplishments. 

    This novel is one of my all time favorites. It takes the reader into the world of a young girl with a disability.  think it would be great read for 5th-12 graders. I think it is for a more mature audience because of the type of language and the author uses. I think this novel is also a great read for adults as well. As individuals, especially educators we forget about we are not always "prepared" for students with disabilities such as Melody's. This novel does a great job of opening up the readers eyes by portraying and desiring Melody's story and what she goes through every single day.

Mikayla Price

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