Recently I have read the book Out of My Mind. This is a novel by Sharon M. Draper, this book really struck me by the heart with happiness and sadness and all these other feelings. Sharon has made the main character Melody who was severely handicapped, she could only move her fingers, she could not walk or talk but she had thousands of thoughts in her head. Sharon has always wondered what goes on in the mind of the disabled, in fact these thoughts and wonders came from her daughter a who was handicapped like Melody, so she created Melody wo make what she believed in the mind of the disabled, as well as the amazing things they could do.
Out of My Mind is about an eleven year, old girl named Melody who could not walk or talk, the only thing that got her around were a wheel chair, a word tray, and her thumbs. When she was a baby she was able to drag herself around the floor with the very little strength she had but still couldn’t talk. She had an issue with anxiety, like when she got upset she would go through what she calls a tornado. This was the only way she could get close to telling people something with her voice by screaming kicking and dangling her arms but also, to other people she looked like an ordinary handicapped person. For school she would go to a room in the school called Room H-5 with students that were mentally handicapped. For Melody she felt it as an embarrassment but she has very close relationships with all the students there. One day she and all the other kids from H-5 were given the opportunity to see the 5th graders in all classes such as Science, Social Studies, Music, Math, PE etc. In some or many occasions she and the others were considered retarded but she and her family proved them all wrong. She and her family bought a machine like a computer that could have millions of words from different languages stored in it and thanks to her thumbs she could move a joystick that selects words and creates sentences. She took many tests in the regular 5th grade programs and one day she was given a test with the rest of the 5th grade that asked her questions about Geology, History, Science, and Humanities. If she made it up to the top six with the highest grades on the test she would have the opportunity to go to Washington D.C., compete against other schools and if they won they could be on TV. When the producers realized that Melody was competing they were amazed and planned to put her on the news. When the time came by her flight to D.C. was canceled and the others took an earlier flight. When they came back she couldn’t have been more upset to see them with no shame. They didn’t tell her because they thought that she made them look bad. She left with anger and hatred but was able to control herself from doing her tornado. By the time she got back her 4 year, old sister Penny left the house and got hit by a car. She was under critical condition and Melody believed that she would end up like her if she survived. When Penny woke up she was normal, and even though Melody was hurt by the fact everyone thought she was useless she decided to be grateful that Penny was alive and normal and to start a new life starting when she turns eleven with the kids from room H-5 and with her family.
This book reminded me of Stuck in Neutral. The main character of the book was named Sean who could not walk or talk but he had an eidetic memory and has constant seizures that make him scream and laugh. But these books are not the same because Stuck in Neutral has threats and Sean had no opportunity and his parents did not know about his abilities. What I liked about Out of My Mind was that Melody’s parents knew she was smart and unique and they finally found a way to show the world that she was smart. A quote from the story of Melody’s perspective of words “Words have swirled around my head like snowflakes- each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.” (pg #1) this quote fascinated me with how she saw words like they were snowflakes but then I was disappointed to hear “I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years, old.” (pg #2) This quote was sad and strange, how could someone have all of these thoughts and be forced to be quite for her entire life? Out of My Mind was a sad book but it showed so much love, faith, and opportunity. Little Melody was always so grateful to have her family believe in her and keep her happy so I would definitely rate this book a 10/10 rating.