She cannot walk. She cannot talk. Out of My Mi nd is acclaimed author Sharon M. Some readers may not think they want to spend pages with a character in a wheelchair, but in the hands of Sharon Draper, Melody Brooks becomes a winning and inspiring guide. Melody is funny and easy to identify with she describes the farting sounds her Dad makes walking up the stairs. She is full of complex feelings towards the different kids in her school she hates the decorations and activities she and the Special Needs kids have to put up with.
Eventually, readers learn that she is just like them — a three-dimensional person with all the same ambivalent feelings and emotions about her family, her peers, and the support people and adult authorities in her life. Actually, when she first gets the Medi-Talker, and she discovers that it comes in many different languages, she realizes that children like her exist all over the world.
Melody's character in Out of my Mind is a survivor in spite of serious difficulties.
Juvenile Book Review: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper – Jackson District Library
What do you think readers can learn from Melody's life? What does the novel say about love? I think Melody's strength comes from love. Even though she is frustrated, silenced, and unable to do the things she longs to do, she has an unbelievably positive spirit. Love gives her the strength to make it though each day, and to look forward to the future.
What statements do you make through the actions of the children at Melody's school? Melody simply wants a friend.
out of (one's) mind
She longs to be like the other kids at her school. She is overjoyed when it looks like Rose will be that friend. It hurts and angers her when kids like Claire and molly make fun of her. And it devastates her when she realizes she'd been left behind on purpose. I think the portrayal of the children, and the teachers in the story as well, give a realistic portrayal of the reality of how people treat the disabled in social situations.
From the people in the mall, to the doctors who should know better, human beings are often unkind, sometimes rude, but occasionally just plain wonderful. What would you like your young readers to get out of reading Out of my Mind? I want them to say, "Wow! That was great! That book made me think, and it made me realize that all human beings are more alike than different.
I never knew what is was like to be handicapped-I learned to think differently. What do you want readers to remember about kids like Melody? Melody is a tribute to all the parents of disabled kids who struggle, to all those children who are misunderstood, to all those caregivers who help every step of the way. It's also written for people who look away, who pretend they don't see, or who don't know what to say when they encounter someone who faces life with obvious differences.
Say hello! What does this novel say about truth? I think all great stories emerge from deep truths that rest within us. But the real truth of a story often can be found in places that not even the author has dared to explore. And sometimes readers can discover some truths about themselves as well. This novel speaks for those who cannot speak. It should remind us of the humanity in us all. Shopping Cart. Sharon Draper's new novel is the story of Melody, a 10 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy so severe that she can neither speak nor move independently. Trapped inside Melody's uncooperative body is a brilliant mind with a cutting wit.
Melody is relegated to a classroom of special needs kids because she can't communicate what is going on in her head. Her world suddenly opens up when she gets a computer with a voice program that allows her to speak for the first time. Unfortunately, the rest of the school is not ready to accept Melody. I was silently cheering for Melody while I read this book as I sat at my kitchen table. The conversations she has with her parents and caregivers about being different are gut-wrenching. Melody knows exactly how she is perceived by other kids and adults, including teachers.
The conversations between Melody's parents as they contemplate the birth of their second child moved me to tears. This is more than a book about a girl with special needs. It holds up a mirror for all of us to see how we react to people with disabilities that make us uncomfortable. I encourage everyone to read this. Although she is unable to walk, talk, or feed or care for herself, she can read, think, and feel. A brilliant person is trapped inside her body, determined to make her mark in the world in spite of her physical limitations.
http://www.cantinesanpancrazio.it/components/giqizig/1167-iphone-6.php Draper knows of what she writes; her daughter, Wendy, has cerebral palsy, too. And although Melody is not Wendy, the authenticity of the story is obvious. Told in Melody's voice, this highly readable, compelling novel quickly establishes her determination and intelligence and the almost insurmountable challenges she faces. It also reveals her parents' and caretakers' courage in insisting that Melody be treated as the smart, perceptive child she is, and their perceptiveness in understanding how to help her, encourage her, and discourage self-pity from others.
Thoughtless teachers, cruel classmates, Melody's unattractive clothes "Mom seemed to be choosing them by how easy they'd be to get on me" , and bathroom issues threaten her spirit, yet the brave Melody shines through. Uplifting and upsetting, this is a book that defies age categorization, an easy enough read for upper-elementary students yet also a story that will enlighten and resonate with teens and adults. Similar to yet the antithesis of Terry Trueman's Stuck in Neutral , this moving novel will make activists of us all.
She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body.
Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but gypped by physical limitations and misunderstandings. She will never sing or dance, talk on the phone, or whisper secrets to her friends.
She's not complaining, though; she's planning and fighting the odds. In her court are family, good neighbors, and an attentive student teacher. Pitted against her is the "normal" world: schools with limited resources, cliquish girls, superficial assumptions, and her own disability. Melody's life is tragically complicated. She is mainly placed in the special-ed classroom where education means being babysat in a room with replayed cartoons and nursery tunes.
Her supportive family sets her up with a computer. She learns the strength of thumbs as she taps on a special keyboard that finally lets her "talk. Then something happens that causes her to miss the finals, and she is devastated by her classmates' actions. Kids will benefit from being introduced to Melody and her gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes and reveals the quiet strength and fortitude it takes to overcome disabilities and the misconceptions that go with them. That is narrator Melody Brooks's plight: "By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings.
But only in my head," she writes. I am almost eleven years old. Sharon Draper Copper Sun; Forged by Fire , who herself has a child with cerebral palsy--though she explicitly states that this is not her daughter's story--inhabits the brilliant, frustrated mind and unresponsive body of this child.
This is the kind of book--like Terry Trueman's Stuck in Neutral or Harriet McBryde Johnson's Accidents of Nature--that makes readers aware of their own biases, and of what a great disservice those biases do to human beings whose outer trappings belie an extraordinary intelligence within. Draper's book is distinctive for the way she traces Melody's journey and her attempts to communicate from as far back as she can remember. In often poetic language, Melody describes how early on she "began to recognize noises and smells and tastes.
The whump and whoosh of the furnace coming alive each morning. The tangy odor of heated dust as the house warmed up. One chapter discusses obstacles from the medical community. At age five, Mrs. Brooks takes Melody to a doctor who says that Melody is "severely brain-damaged and profoundly retarded.
Brooks defends Melody's intelligence to him "She laughs at jokes A turning point occurs during one of Melody's daily after-school stays with next-door neighbor Mrs. Violet Valencia "Mrs. V" : she and six-year-old Melody happen upon a documentary about Stephen Hawking.
Intro, Summary & General Questions
Talk," Melody answers, by repeatedly pointing at the word on her communication board. This begins Melody's quest to find the tools to express herself--first with word cards she makes with Mrs. V, then with phrases and, finally, with an electronic Medi-Talker. Melody takes charge of her own education and her means of communication. She thrives in her "inclusion classes" with the mainstream students academically, but is not accepted by them socially.
Even the most compassionate classmate can fall to peer pressure, as Melody learns on the brink of her greatest achievement on the Whiz Kids quiz team. Melody sees clearly the challenges before her, and it is the source of her greatest heartbreak but also her greatest inspiration. It's impossible to close this book without thinking about the world differently. Brown Horn Book Narrator Melody is a fifth grader with cerebral palsy, but she is much more than that.
Like her hero Stephen Hawking, Melody is damaged on the outside and brilliant within. It takes awhile for the adults in her life, especially her teachers, to see just how much life there is behind those stiff arms and hands, wobbling head, and "slightly out of whack" dark brown eyes. While her parents and babysitter know that Melody has a rich intellect, few people realize just how bright she is until she receives "Elvira," her Medi-Talker computer.
Claire, a classmate in Melody's inclusion class, says what many of us think when we see a person with cerebral palsy, "I'm not trying to be mean-honest-but it just never occurred to me that Melody had thoughts in her head. Hearts will soar when Melody makes the quiz team and plummet when her classmates end up leaving her behind at the airport. When Melody sees danger and cannot get others to understand, we feel her frustration and terror. This is a powerfully eye-opening book with both an unforgettable protagonist and a rich cast of fully realized, complicated background characters.
Despite her parents' best efforts, the outside world has defined her by her condition. Melody's life changes when inclusion classrooms are introduced in her school, and she interacts with children other than those in her special-needs unit. To these children, Melody is "other," and they are mostly uncomfortable with her sounds and jerky movements. Normal problems of school friendships are magnified. Preparation for a trivia competition and acquisition of a computer that lets her communicate her thoughts reveal Melody's intelligence to the world.
Melody is an entirely complete character, who gives a compelling view from inside her mind. Draper never shies away from the difficulties Melody and her family face. Descriptions of both Melody's challenges-"Going to the bathroom at school just plain sucks"-and the insensitivities of some are unflinching and realistic.
Realistically, Melody's resilient spirit cannot keep her from experiencing heartbreak and disappointment even after she has demonstrated her intellect. This book is rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy. Out of My Mind captures the thoughts of year-old Melody, incapable of controlling her body or speaking her mind because of cerebral palsy. Told in first person by the remarkably intelligent girl, the story is a realistic and compassionate window into the life of one considered "disabled" by the world around her.
To the fifth-graders with whom she shares an "inclusion" class, disabled might as well mean retarded. When Melody flails her arms and legs or drools, the other students either look away in embarrassment or make jokes. But she has a few secret weapons. Her loving parents, especially her mother, are her champions. When a dim special-needs teacher insists on playing nursery-rhyme songs and reteaching the class the alphabet which they know but might not be able to speak , Melody's mother charges into the class, reams out the teacher and breaks the Twinkle Twinkle disc reimbursing the teacher for its cost.
Midway through the tale, Melody acquires a "Medi-Talker" computer, finally enabling her to express her thoughts and participate in a regular class, including a Whiz Kids competition. Years of watching the Discovery Channel and her photographic memory help boost Melody's scores so that she makes the team. Draper, a former high-school English teacher who lives in Cincinnati, has crafted a realistic, fast-paced plot laced with humor. But she's not writing a fairy tale: Melody can't break through the stereotypical thinking of students and teachers.
And, during a critical moment in the competition, even Rose, the team member who was kindest to Melody, betrays her. Draper surprises readers by giving Melody a victory where they least expect it.
Like Stephen Hawking, who becomes her hero, Melody discovers that her inner strength and intelligence are more reliable than most of the humans around her. She becomes an activist for herself, even as Draper challenges those who read her story to become activists for those who are different. Draper is one of my favorite authors. Her books usually focus on high school characters living through high school problems. The main character is faced with the daily struggle of living with severe cerebral palsy. Draper takes readers into a world most can't even come close to imagining.
Melody is trapped not only in a wheelchair but also in her own body. She has very little control over her physical functions. She can't walk, can't feed herself, but the worst thing is she can't communicate beyond grunts, squeals, and unreliable facial expressions. People might think her biggest problems are her obvious physical disabilities, but if Melody could speak, she would reveal that she is actually a very smart young girl.
She has a photographic memory, and from as early as she can remember, she has been learning words and storing them away.
She learned her alphabet, how to count, and gained early reading skills just like every other youngster whose parents sat them in front of the TV to watch Sesame Street. Melody even has a fairly decent command of a second language, Spanish, thanks to the cultural diversity of preschool TV programming. The fact remains, no one knows because Melody can't tell them. Fortunately, Melody's parents sense that their child is intelligent and capable of learning just like every other child, maybe even more so.
They speak for Melody and insist she attend public school. It hasn't always been successful, because school officials place Melody in a special education room where the teachers haven't always given her the attention she deserves. With the help of one devoted teacher, a college teacher's aide, and a loving neighbor, Melody is given a chance to learn - and also a chance to speak in her own unique way.
Melody's world opens even more when she is mainstreamed into several regular classrooms. She gains confidence and the knowledge that she is as smart as or smarter than many kids her age. With the academic playing field on the level with her peers, she is able to show off her skills and make some friends.
However, even though fitting in and being "normal" may be her greatest desire, it might prove to be an impossible dream. My heart went out to Melody as she struggled to communicate with those around her. Sharon M. Draper captures the frustration Melody faces every moment of every day. Even though Draper provides a supportive family for Melody, she also shows the frustration of raising a child like Melody. With a direct and frank approach, Draper reveals the ups and downs of dealing with cerebral palsy. Draper covers everything from the physical challenges to the crushing guilt associated with having and raising a child with the condition in her trademark style.
This extraordinary novel is a fantastic glimpse of what life is like for a profoundly disabled girl whose body constantly betrays her fine mind. Melody, 11, has spastic bilateral quadriplegia cerebal palsy that silences her voice and puts her in a wheelchair. She communicates with a word board, but it's a conscious effort to summon her arms and hands to do her will. Melody wishes she could control her body when it spasms, wishes she were normal like the kids who ignore her at school, and wishes she could talk. One wish comes true in this affecting novel. A type-and-speak computer allows Melody to talk for the first time in her life, and she has a lot to say.
Her prowess at knowledge quizzes leaves teachers and classmates stunned. This powerful story by a two-time Coretta Scott King winner offers a wrenching insight into so many vital lives that the able-bodied overlook. If there's only one book teens and parents and everyone else can read this year, "Out of My Mind" should be it. Ages 9 and up. For almost 11 years, cerebral palsy has trapped her in an awkward body and other people's condescension.
Only her supportive parents and neighbor Mrs. V seem aware of her intelligence and spunk. Then one day, a special machine arrives through which Melody can voice the feelings and thoughts swirling inside her. She begins to excel in her fifth-grade inclusion classes and even qualifies for the school's Whiz Kids quiz team. Melody wants "to be like all the other girls" on the team -- until the national competition goes painfully awry. In Melody, author Sharon Draper creates an authentic character who insists, through her lively voice and indomitable will, that the reader become fully involved with the girl in the pink wheelchair.
Details such as the messy particulars of Melody's daily routine, her anger over being babied intellectually and the arguments between her loving but strained parents add verisimilitude to this important novel. This award for fiction honors a book of outstanding literary merit in which young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally. How does this help capture the reader's attention? What predictions can the reader make about the narrator of the story?
What inferences can be made about the thought processes of the narrator's mind? In a world that does not work for her, what seems to cause the biggest frustrations for Melody? Describe Melody's parents. How do they learn to communicate with Melody and help her to overcome everyday problems? Why are those efforts sometimes a complete failure? How does Melody feel about school? How does she fit in with her classmates and what makes her different from the rest of the children in H-5? What would be Melody's ideal school situation?
Discuss Melody's teachers since she began going to school. What does this say about her school system, or about attitudes at her school about teaching children with special needs? Describe Mrs. What role does she play in Melody's development? Why is she a necessary addition to Melody's life? What is significant about the story of Ollie the fish? How does Ollie's life mirror Melody's?
Describe Melody's feelings when she is unable to tell her mother what really happened. Describe how the introduction of Penny as a character changes the family dynamics. Analyze Melody's complicated feelings about her little sister. How does the inclusion program change Melody's school experiences? Describe both positive and negative results of the program. Describe Melody's deep, unrealized need for a friend. What does Melody learn about friendship during the trip to the aquarium?
Make a comparison between Ollie's life, the life of the fish in the aquarium, and Melody's life. How does Melody's computer change her life, her outlook on life, and her potential? Why does she name it Elvira?
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Why does Melody decide to enter the quiz team competition? What obstacles must she face and overcome just to get on the team? What does Melody learn about friendship and the relationships of children working together as she practices and competes with the quiz team? What does she learn about herself? What is ironic about the events at the restaurant after the competition? How does this scene foreshadow the events that led up to the airport fiasco? Describe Melody's feelings before the trip to the airport, while she is there, and after she gets home.
How would you have coped with the same situation? Describe Melody's extreme range of emotions as she tries to tell her mother that Penny is behind the car. How did the scene make you feel? Discuss the scene in which Melody confronts the kids on the quiz team. What is satisfying about how she handles the situation?
What else might Melody have done? Why is the first page repeated at the end of the book? How has Melody changed, both personally and socially, from the beginning of the book to the end? How would this story have been different if it had been written from a third-person point of view; from the point of view of her parents, for example, or simply from the viewpoint of an outside observer?
Explain the title of the novel. Give several possible interpretations. Activities and Research Put yourself in Melody's chair. Write a paper that tells what it would be like to be Melody for one day. Write about your feelings and frustrations. Investigate the problems of children with cerebral palsy, especially those that are of school age. How does it affect the child socially, academically, and personally? Investigate the possible causes of cerebral palsy, and what preventative measures, if any, can be taken by the mother.
Research current laws for inclusion of children with disabilities into classrooms. What effect, if any, do such things have on a school community? Research current treatment options or communication devices for young people like Melody. Write a letter to one of the characters in the book explaining your feelings about the events in the story.
What advice would you give Melody, Rose, Mr. D or Mrs. Describe the relationship between the able-bodied children and Melody. Would you describe it as a true friendship? When situations become monumental and overwhelming to young people, what is likely to happen? Imagine it is the last day of fifth grade. Write a letter or create a conversation between one of the following pairs of characters: Rose and Melody Melody and Mrs.
V Melody and Catherine Mr. D and Melody Melody and Claire Trace the story of one of the following characters. Imagine you are a reporter doing a story on one of their lives. Write everything you know, as well as whatever you can infer about the character in order to write your magazine article. Claire Mrs.