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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