My Favorite Novel: Out of My Mind

As an avid reader, choosing one of my favorite novel isn't easy. I have read hundreds of books over the years. but there is one novel that stands out in my mind... OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon M. Draper.

Imagine not being able to walk, talk, or do anything for yourself. Many can not imagine life wihout being able to express their thoughts and feelings to others. This is reality for Melody, a fictional character who have cerebral palsy. As a person with a physical challenge, I can relate to some of the challenges that Melody faces.

Out of My Mind is about a fifth grader named Melody who has a photographic memory and is very intellegent. The problem is she can't talk or write and her only source of communication is through a communication board with words and pictures. Doctors and teachers believe that she is incapable of learning. Therefore she is placed in a special education class where she is taught repeatedly the same alphabet lessons with other students who babysat instead of taught.

One day, Melody becomes fustrated with the repeated lessons in class. It is realized that she needs more than just the same old alphabet lessons and Melody is given an opportunity to attend classes with other fifth graders. Now she faces new challenges such as bullies and preconcieved assumptions. She is able to atend classes with an an aide of a college student. Another breakthrough comes when Melody is finally given a "voice." Her "voice" is given through a special device which allows her to type in what she wants to say and it speaks it for her.

Melody is given the opportunity to prove her intellegence when her class enters a competion. They make it the Nationals but inclement weather forces the team to leave ealry without Melody's knowledge. When she learns this information, she is devastated. One day a near tragic accident occurs, Melody's couragous act changes how everyone views her.

I liked this novel because Sharon M. Draper does a wonderful job making Melody a couragous inspirational person instead of someone to be felt sorry for. We do not see many books about children or adults with a physical challenge unless it is a life story about a famous person. Unlike Melody, I can walk, talk, write, and do a lot for myself. Still I can learn many things from Melody, that the urge of knowledge and constant trying is the key to success.

I think that this novel is a great way to educate people about cerebral palsy. This novel is a tribute to children and adults who live with cerebral palsy and to the people who take care of and support them. I believe if people took the time to educate themselves about people who live with physical challenges this could break down some of the stereotypes that is very common today.


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