Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of My Mind


I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.

Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes—each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.

Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.

From the time I was really little—maybe just a few months old—words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.

Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.

I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meaning.

But only in my head.

I have never spoken one single word.

I am almost eleven years old."

Melody might not be able to speak but she certainly has a lot to say. Melody has cerebral palsy and Sharon Draper has captured this eleven year-old's thoughts and feelings perfectly.

In Out of My Mind, Melody struggles to be "normal" like the "regular" kids. Her world changes when she is given a computer that can 'talk' for her...all Melody has to do is type what she wants to say or hit a few programmed buttons.
This new computer allows Melody to compete for a spot on the fifth and sixth grade quiz team. She shows the teacher and her classmates that she, indeed, has superior knowledge and becomes the team's 'secret weapon'. Will the team, with Melody's help, win the competition in Washington D.C., collect their trophy, and be interviewed by Good Morning America?

This book is heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. I nearly cried along with Melody and her parents in the ending...not how I imagined the story would end up but certainly worth the read. For more book information, click HERE.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

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