Melody has a perfect memory and really wants to talk but she has cerebral palsy which means she can’t talk or walk! So she searches and finds a computer that can talk for her! She is so smart that she earns a spot on the quiz team!
Written by C., age 9
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, March 2020) was a tear-jerker, simply because it was told from the perspective of a completely misunderstood, nonverbal girl stuck in an immobile body. Melody is loving and smart, and although her parents know this by her limited actions, Melody longs to communicate as easily as others do. Modern technology finally allows her to communicate with a computer, although she must overcome discrimination even after finally being understood. The unfortunate fact is that, after 13 years, the book feels dated, since the power of computers to aid the disabled is well understood at this point. That said, reading it (even as a glimpse into recent history) still helps the modern child better understand the intelligence of the physically disabled.
It is a volume about judgement, disability, ability, intelligence, bullying, family, believing in oneself, and the redeeming power of communication. I highly recommend this book.