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Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

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Out of My Mind

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (315 Bewertungen)
Länge:
242 Seiten
3 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Mar 9, 2010
ISBN:
9781416980452
Format:
Buch

Anmerkung des Herausgebers

A brave voice…

A brave book celebrating children with disabilities, “Out of My Mind” tells the tale of brilliant 11-year-old Melody, whose cerebral palsy has left her voiceless — but not without a voice.

Beschreibung

Written by Scribd Editors

Melody is a bright ten-year-old girl. She has a photographic memory and can remember even the tiniest details about the things she’s experienced. She’s smarter than most of the adults around her, as well as her classmates. But she’s different. Because of cerebral palsy, she cannot walk or talk. In her silence, her classmates dismiss her as mentally challenged, and she isn’t able to set the record straight.

Though she is frustrated, she will not let her cerebral palsy be her defining characteristic. She is determined to show her peers who she really is. After obtaining a computer with a voice program, she can finally communicate with those around her — and they quickly realize their mistakes.

In Out of My Mind, author Sharon M. Draper tells the story of a brave and determined girl who is more than her disorder, who wants to truly be seen. Through conversations with her parents, doctors, classmates, and teachers, a brave girl learns how to find her voice.

Freigegeben:
Mar 9, 2010
ISBN:
9781416980452
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Sharon M. Draper is a three-time New York Times bestselling author and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire, and was awarded the Charlotte Huck Award for Stella by Starlight. Her novel Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and was a New York Times bestseller for over three years, and Blended has also been a New York Times bestseller. She lives in Florida, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.

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Buchvorschau

Out of My Mind - Sharon M. Draper

Draper,

CHAPTER 1

Words.

I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.

Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.

Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.

Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.

Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes—each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.

Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.

From the time I was really little—maybe just a few months old—words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.

Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.

I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings.

But only in my head.

I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old.

CHAPTER 2

I can’t talk. I can’t walk. I can’t feed myself or take myself to the bathroom. Big bummer.

My arms and hands are pretty stiff, but I can mash the buttons on the TV remote and move my wheelchair with the help of knobs that I can grab on the wheels. I can’t hold a spoon or a pencil without dropping it. And my balance is like zip—Humpty Dumpty had more control than I do.

When people look at me, I guess they see a girl with short, dark, curly hair strapped into a pink wheelchair. By the way, there is nothing cute about a pink wheelchair. Pink doesn’t change a thing.

They’d see a girl with dark brown eyes that are full of curiosity. But one of them is slightly out of whack.

Her head wobbles a little.

Sometimes she drools.

She’s really tiny for a girl who is age ten and three quarters.

Her legs are very thin, probably because they’ve never been used.

Her body tends to move on its own agenda, with feet sometimes kicking out unexpectedly and arms occasionally flailing, connecting with whatever is close by—a stack of CDs, a bowl of soup, a vase of roses.

Not a whole lot of control there.

After folks got finished making a list of my problems, they might take time to notice that I have a fairly nice smile and deep dimples—I think my dimples are cool.

I wear tiny gold earrings.

Sometimes people never even ask my name, like it’s not important or something. It is. My name is Melody.

I can remember way back to when I was really, really young. Of course, it’s hard to separate real memories from the videos of me that Dad took on his camcorder. I’ve watched those things a million times.

Mom bringing me home from the hospital—her face showing smiles, but her eyes squinted with worry.

Melody tucked into a tiny baby bathtub. My arms and legs looked so skinny. I didn’t splash or kick.

Melody propped with blankets on the living room sofa—a look of contentment on my face. I never cried much when I was a baby; Mom swears it’s true.

Mom massaging me with lotion after a bath—I can still smell the lavender—then wrapping me in a fluffy towel with a little hood built into one corner.

Dad took videos of me getting fed, getting changed, and even me sleeping. As I got older, I guess he was waiting for me to turn over, and sit up, and walk. I never did.

But I did absorb everything. I began to recognize noises and smells and tastes. The whump and whoosh of the furnace coming alive each morning. The tangy odor of heated dust as the house warmed up. The feel of a sneeze in the back of my throat.

And music. Songs floated through me and stayed. Lullabies, mixed with the soft smells of bedtime, slept with me. Harmonies made me smile. It’s like I’ve always had a painted musical sound track playing background to my life. I can almost hear colors and smell images when music is played.

Mom loves classical. Big, booming Beethoven symphonies blast from her CD player all day long. Those pieces always seem to be bright blue as I listen, and they smell like fresh paint.

Dad is partial to jazz, and every chance he gets, he winks at me, takes out Mom’s Mozart disc, then pops in a CD of Miles Davis or Woody Herman. Jazz to me sounds brown and tan, and it smells like wet dirt. Jazz music drives Mom crazy, which is probably why Dad puts it on.

Jazz makes me itch, she says with a frown as Dad’s music explodes into the kitchen.

Dad goes to her, gently scratches her arms and back, then engulfs her in a hug. She stops frowning. But she changes it back to classical again as soon as Dad leaves the room.

For some reason, I’ve always loved country music— loud, guitar-strumming, broken-heart music. Country is lemons—not sour, but sugar sweet and tangy. Lemon cake icing, cool, fresh lemonade! Lemon, lemon, lemon! Love it.

When I was really little, I remember sitting in our kitchen, being fed breakfast by Mom, and a song came on the radio that made me screech with joy.

So I’m singin’

Elvira, Elvira

My heart’s on fire, Elvira

Giddy up oom poppa oom poppa mow mow

Giddy up oom poppa oom poppa mow mow

Heigh-ho Silver, away

How did I already know the words and the rhythms to that song? I have no idea. It must have seeped into my memory somehow—maybe from a radio or TV program. Anyway, I almost fell out of my chair. I scrunched up my face and jerked and twitched as I tried to point to the radio. I wanted to hear the song again. But Mom just looked at me like I was nuts.

How could she understand that I loved the song Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys when I barely understood it myself? I had no way to explain how I could smell freshly sliced lemons and see citrus-toned musical notes in my mind as it played.

If I had a paintbrush . . . wow! What a painting that would be!

But Mom just shook her head and kept on spooning applesauce into my mouth. There’s so much my mother doesn’t know.

I suppose it’s a good thing to be unable to forget anything—being able to keep every instant of my life crammed inside my head. But it’s also very frustrating. I can’t share any of it, and none of it ever goes away.

I remember stupid stuff, like the feel of a lump of oatmeal stuck on the roof of my mouth or the taste of toothpaste not rinsed off my teeth.

The smell of early-morning coffee is a permanent memory, mixed up with the smell of bacon and the background yakking of the morning news people.

Mostly, though, I remember words. Very early I figured out there were millions of words in the world. Everyone around me was able to bring them out with no effort.

The salespeople on television: Buy one and get two free! For a limited time only.

The mailman who came to the door: Mornin’, Mrs. Brooks. How’s the baby?

The choir at church: Hallelujah, hallelujah, amen.

The checkout clerk at the grocery store: Thanks for shopping with us today.

Everybody uses words to express themselves. Except me. And I bet most people don’t realize the real power of words. But I do.

Thoughts need words. Words need a voice.

I love the smell of my mother’s hair after she washes it.

I love the feel of the scratchy stubble on my father’s face before he shaves.

But I’ve never been able to tell them.

CHAPTER 3

I guess I figured out I was different a little at a time. Since I never had trouble thinking or remembering, it actually sort of surprised me that I couldn’t do stuff. And it made me angry.

My father brought home a small stuffed cat for me when I was really little—less than a year old, I’m sure. It was white and soft and just the right size for chubby baby fingers to pick up. I was sitting in one of those baby carriers on the floor—strapped in and safe as I checked out my world of green shag carpet and matching sofa. Mom placed the toy cat in my hands, and I smiled.

Here, Melody. Daddy brought you a play-pretty, she cooed in that high-pitched voice that adults use with children.

Now, what’s a play-pretty? As if it’s not hard enough figuring out real stuff, I have to figure out the meanings of made-up words!

But I loved the soft coolness of the little cat’s fur. Then it fell on the floor. Dad placed it in my hands the second time. I really wanted to hold it and hug it. But it fell on the floor once more. I remember I got mad and started to cry.

Try again, sweetie, Dad said, sadness decorating the edges of his words. You can do it. My parents placed the cat in my hands again and again. But every single time my little fingers could not hold it, and it tumbled back down to the carpet.

I did my own share of tumbling onto that rug. I guess that’s why I remember it so well. It was green and ugly when you looked at it up close. I think shag carpeting was outdated even before I was born. I had lots of chances to figure out how the threads of a rug are woven as I lay there waiting for someone to pick me up. I couldn’t roll over, so it was just an irritated me, the shag rug, and the smell of spilled sour soy milk in my face until I got rescued.

My parents would prop me up on the floor with pillows on either side of me when I wasn’t in the baby seat. But I’d see a sunbeam coming through the window, turn my head to watch the little dust things that floated in it, and bam, I’d be face-first on the floor. I’d shriek, one of them would pick me up, quiet me, and try to balance me better within the cushions. Still I’d fall again in a few minutes.

But then Dad would do something funny, like try to jump like the frog we were watching on Sesame Street, and it would make me giggle. And I’d fall over again. I didn’t want to fall or even mean to. I couldn’t help it. I had no balance at all. None.

I didn’t understand at the time, but my father did. He would sigh and pull me up onto his lap. He’d hug me close and hold up the little cat, or whatever toy I seemed to be interested in, so I could touch it.

Even though he sometimes made up his own vocabulary, Dad never spoke baby talk to me like my mother did. He always spoke to me as if he were talking to a grown-up, using real words and assuming I would understand him. He was right.

Your life is not going to be easy, little Melody, he’d say quietly. If I could switch places with you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. You know that, don’t you?

I just blinked, but I got what he meant. Sometimes his face would be wet with tears. He’d take me outside at night and whisper in my ear about the stars and the moon and the night wind.

The stars up there are putting on a show just for you, kid, he’d say. Look at that amazing display of sparkle! And feel that wind? It’s trying to tickle your toes.

And during the day he would sometimes take off all the blankets that my mother insisted I be wrapped in and let me feel the warmth of the sun on my face and legs.

He had placed a bird feeder on our porch, and we would sit there together as the birds darted in, picking up seeds one at a time.

That red one is a cardinal, he’d tell me, and that one over there is a blue jay. They don’t like each other much. And he’d chuckle.

What Dad did most was to sing to me. He has a clear voice that seems made for songs like Yesterday and I Want to Hold Your Hand. Dad loves the Beatles. No, there’s no figuring out parents and why they like stuff.

I’ve always had very good hearing. I remember listening to the sound of my father’s car as he drove up our street, pulled into the driveway, and rustled in his pocket to find his house keys. He’d toss them on the bottom step, then I’d hear the sound of the refrigerator door open—twice. The first time he’d get something cold to drink. The second time he’d search for a huge hunk of Muenster cheese. Dad loves cheese. It doesn’t agree with his digestive system very well, though. Dad also has the loudest, stinkiest farts in creation. I don’t know how he manages to control them at work, or even if he does, but when he’d get home, he’d let them loose. They’d start as he walked up the stairs.

Step, fart.

Step, fart.

Step, fart.

I’d be laughing by the time he got to my room, and he’d lean over my bed and kiss me. His breath always smelled like peppermints.

When he could, Dad read to me. Even though I know he had to be tired, he’d smile, pick out a book or two, and I’d get to go to Where the Wild Things Are, or to where The Cat in the Hat was making a mess.

I probably knew the words by heart before he did. Goodnight, Moon. Make Way for Ducklings. Dozens more. The words to every single book my father ever read to me are forever tucked inside.

Here’s the thing: I’m ridiculously smart, and I’m pretty sure I have a photographic memory. It’s like I have a camera in my head, and if I see or hear something, I click it, and it stays.

I saw a special on PBS once on children who were geniuses. These kids could remember complicated strands of numbers and recall words and pictures in correct sequence and quote long passages of poetry. So can I.

I remember the toll-free number from every infomercial, and the mailing addresses and websites, too. If I ever need a new set of knives or the perfect exercise machine, I’ve got that information on file.

I know the names of the actors and actresses of all the shows, what time each program comes on, which channel, and which shows are repeats. I even remember the dialogue from each show and the commercials in between.

Sometimes I wish I had a delete button in my head.

I have a television remote control clicker attached to my wheelchair, very close to my right hand. On the left side I have a remote for the radio. I have enough control in my fist and thumbs to push the buttons so I can change the station, and I’m really glad of that! Twenty-four hours of big-time wrestling or the home shopping station can drive a person nuts! I can adjust the volume and even play DVDs if someone has popped one in the player for me. Lots of times I watch Dad’s old videos of me.

But I also like the cable channels that talk about stuff like kings and the kingdoms they conquered or doctors and the diseases they cured. I’ve seen specials on volcanoes, shark attacks, dogs born with two heads, and the mummies of Egypt. I remember them all. Word for word.

Not that it does me a lot of good. Nobody knows it’s there but me. Not even my mother, although she has this Mom sense that knows I understand stuff. But even that has its limits.

Nobody gets it. Nobody. Drives me crazy.

So every once in a while I really lose control. I mean really. My arms and legs get all tight and lash out like tree limbs in a storm. Even my face draws up. I sometimes can’t breathe real well when this happens, but I have to because I need to screech and scream and jerk. They’re not seizures. Those are medical and make you go to sleep.

These things—I call them my tornado explosions— are pieces of me. All the stuff that does not work gets balled up and hyped up. I can’t stop, even though I want to, even though I know I’m freaking people out. I lose myself. It can get kinda ugly.

Once, when I was about four, Mom and I were in one of those superstores that sells everything from milk to sofas. I was still small enough to fit in the child seat in the front of the cart. Mom always came prepared

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Was die anderen über Out of My Mind denken

4.6
315 Bewertungen / 172 Rezensionen
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Kritische Rezensionen

  • It is easy to be torn about this book, not between good and bad opinions, but between admitting how much I cried vs how much I'm going to pretend like I didn't. Melody, a ten year old girl, is wrong diagnosed and treated as if she is mentally inept, that is, until she is given a rudimentary voice communication program that allows her to begin expressing her thoughts. Reminiscent of Stephen Hawking (except he had already proven his intelligence by the time cerebral palsy heavily changed his life), Out of My Mind is the story of struggle, a story of love, and a story of overcoming no matter what the obstacle. Melody is very well written, but some of her dialogue (and that of other kids in this story) might become quite dated as time goes on, since it focuses on slang pretty heavily. And we all know slang goes out of style, even if it is da bomb.

    Scribd Editors
  • A must read for everyone, Out of My Mind is a story that will change the way people will think about mental illness, those diagnosed with mental illness, and the entire thought base on treating people differently because you believe them to be inept. This story is told from the perspective of Melody, a young girl who is diagnosed as having little cognitive ability primarily because her physical body prevents her from expressing herself...or moving at all. But Melody is alive and well in her own head, and she has enough intelligence that even if she shared a little, she'd still be the top of her class. Eventually, when Melody is given a way to communicate, the reconciliations, conversations, and thoughts that she expresses are nearly too powerful to read. This girl, trapped in her head for so long, is finally given a chance to make her voice heard by more people than just herself.

    Scribd Editors

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (4/5)
    4Q, 2P Not being heard, both voice or message is challenging for any age, particularly because we live in a communicative society. But when Melody is not heard due to her inability to speak, she is judged by students and teachers as if she does not have anything smart, funny, empathetic, or interesting to say. This story allows the reader (of any age) to put themselves in the mind of Melody and allows us to feel and see the challenges of confinement to a wheel chair and stigma of "abnormal." Melody's laugher and excitement presents as uncomfortable and scary to most who do not know her; yet she is just like any other 11 year old girl. She does have a gift of higher intellect and intuitiveness than most children her age. The reader is swept away by Melody's desire to participate on the class spelling bee team and her perseverance to contribute and win. Unfortunately, both the teacher and students fail her in many ways, highlighting bullying and judging are unattractive qualities. You will cheer on Melody throughout the entire story!
  • (4/5)
    A wonderful book about a child who is smart but cannot speak because of her Cerebral Palsy. Once she gets a special computer to help her communicate, her teachers realize that she is very smart. A trivia bee entrance exam proves it too.
  • (5/5)
    Extraordinary
  • (4/5)
    This is well-done, although the goldfish incident metaphor was terribly obvious. A stronger novel, also told from the perspective of an adolescent with CP is Accidents of Nature Harriet McBryde Johnson (Henry Holt, 2006).
  • (5/5)
    Out of my mind by Sharon M. Draper is my favorite book! It is the reason my LibraryThing name is Melody-the main character's name- 16-my lucky number. What I love about this book is that it shows her struggle to communicate, and how the author shows Melody's feelings. The book is focused on 11 year old Melody, an extremely smart girl with cerebral palsy. The book is told in her perspective, which I love. In the beginning of the book , it starts out when she is a toddler, and then it progresses into the present. It takes a couple chapters to get to the current time, but it will help because Melody brings up the past a bit. So I recommend not skimming through the beginning. The cover has a fish jumping out of its bowl. The story of that fish isn't explained until towards the end of the book, and the cover is also there, I think, to express what Melody would feel like if she got to talk with others-she would feel like she is free from the communication barrier. She can express herself, but not in the way she would like. So, when/if you read this book, I hope you will like it as much as I did. So I hope you will love the book as much as I did!
  • (4/5)
    A really powerful story about the power of words and expression. It a unique and wonderful book.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent novel told from the view of an 11 year old girl who has cerebral palsy. What a marvelous piece of writing. Melody is smart, funny and totally frustrated with the body she inhabits. A book written with young readers in mind, but a book that should be read by everyone.
  • (5/5)
    Melody's touching story of her life stuck in her head while she is unable to communicate due to her cerebral palsy. A wonderful family and supportive adults believe in Melody, even when others refer to her as retarded. A series of communication breakthroughs open the world to her. I loved that the story didn't have anyone remarkably changed and people were still complicated. We had a great book club discussion on this book.
  • (4/5)
    Out of My Mind is told from the perspective of Melody, an 11-year-old girl diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Melody is a genius; she has a near-photographic memory and absorbs everything that she hears and sees. However, she has never said a single word, and never will due to her condition.As the story progresses, we can see how Melody is affected by her inability to speak- she often becomes frustrated when she isn't able to communicate with those around her. The readers learn about Melody's various teachers and doctors, as well as many other people that helped Melody succeed despite the obvious challenges that face her daily.When Melody finally receives a special keyboard that allows her to type out what she wants to say, her life is changed. She is able to whisper with her friends in class, answer questions in school, and tell her parents that she loves them. Because of this machine, Melody is even able to participate in her school's quiz team. I listened to the audiobook and loved it! I felt that the different voices the narrator used really suited every character's personality and brought life to the story.Out of My Mind really made me stop and reevaluate how I think of people with special needs. Often, I just assume that because they can't walk, sit up straight, or feed themselves that they are not intelligent. This book proved me wrong. I am certain that I will have a different opinion of special needs people in the future.Some of the things that happen to Melody in this story are awful. I was shocked by how insensitive and rude the people around her were, including the teachers! I was honestly on the verge of tears several times because of things that people said or did to Melody.I would recommend this book to everyone 6 grade and up. Not only does this novel give new insight into the mind people with disabilities, it also puts our own life in perspective. While we may not be able to afford a new car or that trip to Disney, at least we are able to use all of our limbs and talk for ourselves, and do not need to rely on someone else to feed us, dress us, or help us bath or use the bathroom.Out of My Mind was a GREAT book, even if it was sad at times. I am so glad I took the time to listen to it.
  • (4/5)
    Now I know why people were so pissy when this didn't win the Newbery. This is a dang good book. It's not a perfect book, but in the best style of Stuck in Neutral, this book tells the story of someone with no voice, a challenged body. I loved the neighbor and I loved that fact that when she finally is able to convey thoughts, she is wonderfully intelligent and humorous.
  • (3/5)
    Melody hears colors and sees sounds. As a very intelligent girl with cerebral palsy, when she is ten her parents get her the communication device that she needs to be able to express herself. So the beginning of the book is filled with all the ways she is frustrated not to be able to say everything she wants to, and to demonstrate how intelligent she is. Somehow her parents know. They go to one specialist who suggests that she is too much trouble to take care of on their own. But not until they get an aide to assist her in school do they happen upon the technical medi-talker that will let Melody shine.

    One thing I liked about the book was the depiction of a family having difficulties but getting through them. The parents fight. The parents worry about the new child who is "normal" but not enough to keep her from jumping out into the road.

    Melody has a sense of humor. I always enjoyed hearing from her on her medi-talker. The girls who are not in her peer group that is who do not need a medi-talker are pretty stereotypical mean girls, while the children with disabilities are shown as complex and more rounded.

    I was disappointed by the plot becoming centered on the whiz kids going to a national game show so that they could be on television. It seemed a sad way to show off the kids' abilities.

    This book reminded me a little bit of Rules.
  • (5/5)
    A book that should be read by every teacher to every class. Wow.
  • (5/5)
    The entire novel I was cheering for eleven-year-old Melody. Having to deal with Cerbral Palsy, all she wants is a normal life, yet everyday she is faced with challenges. She is incredibly smart, however, she has no way to prove this to those around her because she is unable to speak, until she is able to get a computer that finally allows her to type her feelings. One of the stronger characters I have read about, told in first person narrative, this novel is a must for any middle-schooler or parent for people to be more aware of those with disabilities.
  • (1/5)
    I just threw this book across the room. I think I am the only person on the planet who doesn't like this book.
  • (3/5)
    I'd recommend this to EVERYONE. Too many people don't even try to make an effort to understand those different from themselves, and this book offers a unique viewpoint. A young disabled girl who can't talk, walk, or control her body very well is the bright and kind narrator. The writing is clear but nothing outstanding: however, its unremarkableness doesn't get in the way of the story. Although it wasn't the best literary experience, the story is worth reading - by everyone.
  • (5/5)
    recommended for: every 8-12 year old kid, disabled kids & those who know them; all who work with the disabledI highly recommend this book to everybody, but especially to disabled kids, kids who know disabled kids, anyone who works with disabled kids, especially non-verbal/speech impaired disabled people and people with cerebral palsy or similar neurological motor conditions.This is an absolutely wonderful book that almost made my favorites shelf. It’s wickedly funny and brutally, wonderfully honest.I’ve always enjoyed stories about special needs kids, special education, ill children, disabled children, but they’re usually told by someone else, and usually an adult. This children’s novel is narrated by Melody, almost eleven years old, who has a photographic memory and synesthesia (she sees colors and tastes flavors when she hears music), and she is highly intelligent, but because she has cerebral palsy, she cannot talk or write or walk. I admire how this story evolved. Even though there is what seems to be the obligatory tearjerker “big end” it wasn’t the one (two actually) a reader would have expected the most, and it’s clear Melody’s life does not become perfect, or even as easy as some authors would have implied. However, Melody manages to shine in this book; I love her voice, and I love this book. It’s a very quick read; I inhaled it in less than a day.Oh, and I just realized how poignant the cover illustration is!And, I need to add that Butterscotch is now one of my favorite ever dogs in a novel!
  • (5/5)
    This character's inability to speak actually really allows the reader to get inside her head. You are right there with her in her frustration at not being able to communicate. I loved the part when she is starting to communicate and gets in trouble for "talking in class." for the first time in her life. Be prepared to tear up a little!
  • (4/5)
    When I first picked up the book, Out of My Mind, I knew the gold fish in the tank had an important meaning. This book is filled with emotion and I enjoyed reading it as it was something I could relate to as a Special Education teacher. The young girl, Melody, has cerebral palsy. She remembers everything she sees and hears but she can't speak. I see the way her teachers treat her and it makes me want to better understand my students. As a reader, you feel frustrated for Melody and you can't imagine going through what she experiences daily. Imagine, being trapped in your own head, similarly to being a fish trapped inside a fish bowl. I recommend this book to anyone and is a book that can even be read at a 6th and 7th grade level.
  • (4/5)
    A review from the Pittsburgh Gazette states that "those who read Sharon Draper's most recent novel probably will never again look at a child using a wheelchair the same way." After reading this story, I will say that I couldn't agree more.

    OUT OF MY MIND is an amazing, beautifully written book. While it takes on a rather "dark" topic, Shannon Draper does an amazing job of injecting some humor here than there. Even with Melody's disabilities, the reader will never pity her; rather they will feel her emotions with her. That's just one thing I love about this book.

    The characters are well-written and thought out, and they each stand out in their own way. Draper's talent for choosing the right words to fit every situation makes this book interesting and hard to forget and/or put down.

    This book will change you. You'll never think about people with disabilities the same way again. Melody is so brave and strong despite the odds stacked against her. I absolutely couldn't put this book down and rooted for Melody all the way through.

    If you're looking for something deep and meaningful, consider reading Out of My Mind.
  • (3/5)
    Born with cerebral palsy, Melody is unable to speak and has little control over her body, but her mind is always working. Despite her brilliance, most assume the 11 year old is mentally challenged because of her condition until she finds away to communicate the things that are trapped inside her head. Melody is an extraordinary character and food for thought for anyone who has ever made a judgement about another person based on their appearance. I think the view Draper takes on Melody's challenges is balanced, acknowledging her triumphs as well as her failures. There is hope for Melody in that she can find ways to work around her disability, but the daily difficulties of her life make it clear that she has to work incredibly hard for every one of her achievements.
  • (5/5)
    16. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (2010, 296 pages, Read Mar 8-11)Surprising good juvenile fiction. Not sure why I was surprised. It has a great setting, a good enough plot and just came across as really thoughtfully done. The premise is Melody Brooks, a tween in middle school who suffers from cerebral palsy, meaning she can't really move and can't talk. She narrates the book as an intelligent observer unable to communicate with the world around her, which is both sad and fascinating. Many juvenile books don't seem to take themselves very seriously. They have enough to get a young readers pulled in, with lots of silly humor, and few emotional punches and then a happy ending. This was nothing like that. It's a serious work exceptionally well done and gives the reader a lot to think about. And I appreciated a juvenile book with an uncomfortable ending.
  • (5/5)
    This book shows readers that you can overcome adversity. Born with cerebral palsy, Melody is unable to speak and has little control over her body, but her mind is always working. Despite her brilliance, most assume the 11 year old is mentally challenged because of her condition until she finds a way to communicate the things that are trapped inside her head. Melody’s character development is amazing, as it shows readers that no one should judge another person based on their appearance. This book also teachers an important lesson to its readers. The daily difficulties that Melody has to face make it clear that she has to work incredibly hard for all of her achievements. This shows young readers that you have to work hard to achieve what you want. Overall, this book shows that children with special needs can be just as intelligent as those without special needs and that you need to treat them equally.
  • (3/5)
    Listened to the audio book narrated by Sisi Aisha Jones. I did not like the narration at first; the voice seemed too babyish, but by the 2nd disc (out of 6), I'd gotten used to it and it was fine. The strongest part of the story here is Melody's voice. By the time the story was done, I felt like Melody was a real person that I had actually known in my life. The plotting and pacing are problematic though. The first full third of the book is setup for the main event - Melody getting Elvira, her speaking machine. That's a long time to wait for the basic premise to kick in. I also felt the bit with her sister at the end was a little kitchen sinkish - there was plenty going on without that being added to the mix. I did love the trivia competition, but since I competed in Quiz Bowl as a kid that's not particularly surprising. The characterization is also particularly good; even the secondary characters are pretty complex. The synesthesia was cool, too.
  • (5/5)
    In this book the author takes you on a journey of a girl who was born with cerebral palsy and her life. The author makes sure to give you a raw, emotional view into the main characters world. As you go through the book you get attached to her and her family. This book is a great book to be read aloud or for an older child to read. It leaves the reader with an alternate perspective that could make a huge impression.
  • (5/5)
    This book was both fascinating and highly emotional for me from beginning to end. I think I cried six separate times throughout the read, and not always because it was something sad. It is so easy to fall into believing the stereotype that just because a person is physically disabled, he or she is also mentally disabled. This book proves the very opposite. Yes, some diseases do affect the mind, but certainly not all of them. Draper proves that with the story of Melody.
    Melody is an amazing character, with both a personality and an intelligence at odds with her physical appearance, and I wonder if there is not an actual person just like Melody in this world, just waiting to be discovered. So many times I wanted to sit down and talk to Melody with the help of her computer and ask her a million questions about life through her eyes.
    I love the ingenuity of her neighbor in helping Melody to gain some physical functionality, and the heart and dedication of her parents to defend Melody's rights and provide for all of her needs. I found the different characters to all be unique in their own way, and the obstacles that Melody faced socially are realistic and believable.
    I like the parallels that Melody drew between herself and Stephen Hawking, and it makes me wonder what life was like for him as a kid and what obstacles he faced.
    Even though this book largely took place within the confines of Melody's thoughts and memories, the difficulties she has daily in dealing with all of the words stifled in her mind became more real and believable this way.
    I really can not describe adequately how this book has affected my perspective on the physically-disabled population. All I know for sure is that whoever you are and whatever genres you prefer, you simple must read this book.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book, the story was compelling and it was a fast read. A recommended read for both students and adults.
  • (5/5)
    A beautiful and moving story of a girl with cerebral palsy. Her journey through making people understand that inside her head she was intelligent, discovering that she could have a computer assistance device that would allow her to speak, and proving herself a top scorer on the school's academic team leads to an ending that blends tragedy and triumph. You'll have tears in your eyes at the end.
  • (5/5)
    The main character, Melody, is such sweet girl. I literally just finished it, and I am so close to crying! :'[ Ugh, I really hate how books bring out my vulernable side :/
  • (5/5)
    This book shows readers that they need to have a different perspective on those with special needs. Melody was so intelligent yet whenever someone saw her, they looked at her disability first. Nobody saw her as a real person, just someone that could not walk and talk. Even teachers would not teach her anything because they just assumed that she could not learn. This book shows that children with special needs can be just as intelligent as those without special needs and you need to treat them equally. It was a really great book that allows the reader to sympathize with Melody and really care for her.
  • (4/5)
    Before I read "Out of My Mind", I really didn't know much about the struggles that people have with cerebral palsy and how hard it is for them to communicate with everyone around them. After reading this book, my perspective completely changed on how I thought about people with it. Now I have a much better understanding on what it actually is, and have more respect for people who have it and the struggles they have to deal with on a day to day basis; where tasks like eating and getting dressed seem simple to us, are VERY complicated for people who have to live with cerebral palsy. The author shows you life with this disease through the main character; Melody Brooks' eyes which I think is really cool that she did because you get to see life from a harder point of view. Melody is also a very inspiring person because she's dealt with this disease for 12yrs and the story is truly amazing. I'm really glad I read this book because it teaches you a lesson, but at the same time remains very intriguing to the reader. Kudos to Sharon M. Draper! This book to me would seem extremely difficult to write, but the author made it very understandable, and it is quite unique in its own special way; kind of like Melody.