Since Sharon Draper is such a popular writer, I thought I would take a chance on one of her newest books, Out of My Mind.
This book was hard to read; not because the reading level is high, or the vocabulary difficult, but because of the main character. Melody, the main character, has Cerebral Palsy, which she's had since birth. CP makes most motor function impossible. Melody can't talk, walk, dress or feed herself. Her life is spent in a motorized wheel chair, which she can operate, due to the fact that she has full use of her thumbs. She's also 11.
Many people would see someone with CP and assume, with the drooling and lack of motor skills, that the person is mentally handicapped. The thing is, Melody is brilliant. She has a photographic memory, so everything she watches and hears, she remembers forever. But, she can't tell anyone what she knows because she can't speak.
It's hard to imagine what people who can't speak are thinking. Society usually assumes they are mentally handicapped or less advanced for someone their age. But, Melody proves that this isn't the case. It isn't until she acquires a computer attached to her wheelchair, like her idol Stephen Hawking, that she finally has a voice and can tell the people around her what she's thinking.
I was really frustrated for her as I read this book because of how closely people stayed to their assumptions regarding people with any sort of disability. Even when Melody started being mainstreamed into regular classes at school, and did well, her classmates and her teachers still assumed she would fail.
Either way, it was an awesome book. It's going to help me to remember not to make quick judgements about people, and, if I do make those judgements, to make sure I am open to changing my mind.
I'm an avid reader. One thing I've learned in my many years on this Earth is that no matter what is happening in your life, you can always benefit from temporarily escaping life in order to become absorbed in a make believe story.