out of my mindTitle: out of my mind
Author: Sharon M. Draper
Pages: 295(Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but NO ONE knows it.

Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

From the beginning, there’s something that strikes at you, hooks you and doesn’t release you. Melody knows the power of words. Savor the first words, the first few pages… take my advice and REMEMBER them. They are random words but they take on a whole new level of connotation when… I’ll let you read for yourself.

Melody is a strong character that I immediately took a liking to. I thought the story might be about her struggles to get the technology that would allow her communication at long last but this idea fell short of what really took place between the covers of this book. It’s a struggle yes, but against prejudices coming from not just the kids in Melody’s class but some of the adults too who can’t comprehend just how brilliant she is.

Once she has her amazing laptop, Melody tries out for a spot on the quiz team and to the surprise of all, gets a perfect score. Must be that awesome memory of hers. But there are so many obstacles and biased beliefs about her disabilities that she has to overcome and- to her great disappointment- does not win all the battles. It’s a bittersweet story but throughout it all Melody keeps her head high and I applaud that vigorously. In the end, what she said to her fellow team members… I was so proud that she stood up for herself and for her surprising but truth-filled words. They deserved it, not her.

Truly a wonderful story, I read it in one sitting and nearly wept through the entire book. Sharon Draper is an author to look into which is just what I intend to do. Another piece of advice; don’t read this book in public like I did(in a gym full of musicians (there’s music involved in this book too!)). It’s a story that will touch you and hopefully remind you that people with disabilities have just as many stories to share as you do!

~Tally

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