Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Out of My Mind
Draper, Sharon M. 2010. OUT OF MY MIND. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 9781416971702 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-6]
Eleven year old Melody’s life can be frustrating. She has a ferocious appetite for learning and a photographic memory. If only her doctors, classmates, and teachers realized this. Cerebral palsy has robbed Melody of the ability to speak, walk, or write, but it hasn’t stolen her desire to learn. Placed in a Special Ed. classroom where the curriculum consists of nursery rhymes and cartoons, Melody grows discouraged and throws her uncontrollable “fits.” When 5th grade begins, Melody has a new Special Ed. teacher who is on top of her game and provides her with the tools she has sorely needed for her education. While in her inclusion classroom, Melody decides to do her research project on Stephen Hawking. She asks for a computer like his. Melody’s parents and caregivers are willing to fight to make sure Melody is given every opportunity for a quality education and they find a way to get her the Medi-Talker. With this piece of equipment, Melody’s voice can finally be heard and the realization sinks in with everyone that there is an intelligent girl trapped in her body. Even though her new computer has released her from her silence, it does not end preconceived notions that teachers and classmates might have.
OUT OF MY MIND is a story of frustration, determination, and the strength it takes to live every day with a disability.
Host a Disability Awareness Day. Children will rotate through stations that give them a glimpse of what it is like to have different disabilities.
Other books for children about disabilities:
Anderson, Mary Elizabeth and Dineen, Tom. TAKING CEREBAL PALSY TO SCHOOL. ISBN 9781891383083
Erskine, Kathryn. MOCKINGBIRD. ISBN 9780399252648
By Jane Jergensen