Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Melody is eleven years old and she has never spoken a word.She has “spastic bilateral quadraplegia , also known as cerebral palsy.It limits her body but not her mind.”“We all have disabilities.What’s yours?Imagine all of the thoughts and feelings that she has bottled up inside.Like all of us she needs connections with the people in her world but she’s limited by their perceptions of her and by the word list on the tray in front of her.This is her story.Slip inside Melody’s skin and experience school with teachers who are patronizing blanks and teachers who are insightful creators.The people around Melody shy away from her because she has cerebral palsy.She can control her thumbs and that’s about the only part of her body that listens to her commands.But, her brain is powerful and needs to learn.She memorizes dialogue from television shows and commercials and knows all the phone numbers in case she should ever need a product.Her world begins to open up when inclusion comes to her school and she can venture out into the music class, the math class and join the other fifth graders, no longer separated by her limitations.She has a college student, Catherine, who comes to help her do the things her body cannot do and she has magic of Elvira.Elvira is the name Melody gives to her Medi-Talker.As Catherine says, “Melody’s Medi-Talker is a combination computer, music player and speech device.It’s got HD, high-tech guts,and it’s designed to rock her world and connect you to it.Take the time to listen to what she has to say.”With her Medi-Talker, Melody’s world opens up and she takes a chance and competes to be on the school Whiz Kids team which will compete against other schools regionally and nationally.Will the teachers accept her?   Will the kids accept her?   Where will this lead her?     Where will it lead you?

304 pages 978-1416971719     Ages 9-13

Picture book read alike:  Helen's Big World:  The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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Melody is trapped! Not in a closet or in the basement but in herself. Melody is an 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy. Her illness will not allow her to speak, walk, or even feed herself. No one knows that she has a photographic memory and far more intelligent that others her age. She feels frustrated when adults and other children think her brain doesn’t work either! Luckily, her parents, a wonderful neighbor named Mrs. Valencia and her 5th grade teachers sense her special abilities. After doing biography research on Steven Hawking, Melody’s family gets her a computer that finally lets her communicate with others and she shows them all what she has learned. Soon Melody is able to prove that she is smart enough to be on the school quiz team. Unfortunately, some children in her school have difficulty including someone who looks different and sadly, the Quiz Bowl competition brings out the worst in her teammates.

This is a powerful story that will open the eyes of the reader and have them think twice about children that might be different. Independent readers can handle the book, but this would make a wonderful classroom read-aloud followed by great discussions.

295 pages

ISBN: 978-1416971702

Reviewed by:  Alexis Cuff, Teacher Librarian, Pennsylvania, USA

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3.0
So good! BEST BOOK EVER! You have to read it!

Recommended by: Kittykat
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