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Out of My Mind
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.
From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to
meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.
A Note to Readers from Author Sharon Draper
People often ask me, "What was your inspiration for Out of my Mind?" I reply, "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. I suppose the character of Melody came from my experiences in raising a child with developmental
difficulties. But Melody is not my daughter. Melody is pure fiction--a unique little girl who has come into being from a
mixture of love and understanding. Out of my Mind is the story of a ten-year-old-girl who cannot walk or talk. She has
spirit, determination, intelligence and wit, and no one knows it. But from buildings that are not wheelchair--accessible
to classmates who make fun of her she finds a strength within herself she never knew existed.
I was fiercely adamant that nobody feel sorry for Melody. I wanted her to be accepted as a character and as a person,
not as a representative for people with disabilities. 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. Just smile and say hello!
--Sharon M. Draper