Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

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

Meet Melody.  Melody is eleven years old.  She is probably the smartest kid in her school, but no one knows it!  They put her in a class for kids with “disabilities” and she is treated like she is unintelligent . Imagine being unable to tell anyone your feelings or needs!  Melody is truly trapped in her body!

Even the doctors don’t realize her abilities.  She has a photographic memory, and no one knows!  She is very tiny, she drools, her body sometimes makes unexpected flailing movements.  She appears to be retarded.

When she finally has a way to communicate with a “Medi Talker”, she joins the regular classroom with an aide.  But, is she accepted by the other students and teachers?  You might be surprised!

This book created some terrific discussions with my middle school book club.  It was the perfect time to talk about kids who are “different”!  Nobody even knew Melody’s name because she was that kid in the wheelchair who made weird noises!  The kids loved this story.  As one reviewer said, “It’s a gutsy, candid, and compelling story.”

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