Monday, July 4, 2011

"Out of My Mind"

My mom and I just finished reading a wonderful book last night that I have to post about. The book is called Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. Here's a short synopsis of the book: 

"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, because Melody 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." 

I loved this book. Although it's fiction, I could relate to so many of the things that the main character, Melody, experienced and felt. Things like having to rely on others to me all of your physical needs. Things like bathing, dressing, and eating… even going to the bathroom! (All things that "normal," able-bodied people can do for themselves.) I could also relate to Melody's feelings of wishing to be a normal and like everyone else. Believe me, it's really hard to be disabled in a world that is designed for able-bodied people!

One thing that I have that Melody didn't have is a voice. I'm able to speak, unlike Melody who physically wasn't capable of speaking. Most people, even Melody's doctors and teachers, thought she was retarded, when in reality she was brilliant. Of course it was people's ignorance that led them to these assumptions, but it was sad when people thought she was retarded and didn't give her the time of day.

This book would make an excellent read for anyone, but I think it's especially good for young people, just to give them a little food for thought as to what life is like for people who are "different."


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