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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely amazing,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and amazing ( no spoilers ),
This review is from: Out of My Mind (Hardcover)I heard about this book on amazon and decided to buy it and I LOVED IT !! its such an amazing book ! its a page turner and its fast paced everything about the book was amazing from the writing style to the characters . The author did an amazing job . I would maybe read it again someday and i really recommend it . the best thing about this book is that you feel for the main character . Your sad when she's sad and your happy when she is happy . I would definitely read more of this author . It deserves more than a five .
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this,
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever,
5.0 out of 5 stars wow,
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab,
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring,
4.0 out of 5 stars ...,
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
This review is from: Out of My Mind (Paperback)This such a good book.A brilliant insight into the world of a child with special needs.At times funny,then at others so sad,yet ultimately uplifting.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Tell You,
This review is from: Out of My Mind (Hardcover)"I want to tell you, my head is filled with things to say." -- George Harrison, 1966
"I want to fly like an eagle, till I'm free. Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me." -- Steve Miller Band, 1976
"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles;
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary." -- Isaiah, 40:31
Sharon Draper is a genius. It's as simple as that. I have enjoyed all of her books, but this one is my personal favorite. Diamond sharp and multi-faceted, it will reflect every possible emotion and reinforce to readers the value in reaching for the stars.
Window Boy is an excellent companion book to this one.
Melody, 10 is literally a prisoner in her body and the pink wheelchair used to transport her. She introduces herself by saying that she is nearly 11 years old and has never spoken a single word. Her use of metaphors and persistent images is quite effective - words are like snowflakes to Melody. Each is distinct, with its own sound and meanings. They pile up high around her like snowdrifts. They can be tracked and followed. They can leave impressions.
"Words are flying out like like endless rain into a paper cup. They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe." -- Beatles from "Across the Universe, 1970
Melody has a severe form of congenital cerebral palsy (CP). She cannot move independently nor do basic self care skills. She also can't speak. She can, however recall just about every event and impression in her life. Her loving father, a Beatles fan reads to her and talks to her as he would a peer. He believes in his daughter's intelligence and ability to learn. He also shows her videos he has taken of her from the day she was born.
Melody's mother, on the other hand treats Melody like an infant. Sad, but understandable given that Melody is trapped in a body that doesn't work and is not able to speak. In one memorable scene, Melody, then 4 had a meltdown in a megastore because she saw a display of blocks with toxic paint. Just that morning she had watched a news segment about how the blocks were recalled. Unable to speak out and warn people not to buy the blocks, she communicates as best she can, by trying to point at the blocks and shrieking. Naturally, Melody's mother thinks she wants the blocks and is embarrassed by her daughter's outburst. This unfortunate incident prompts Melody's mother to call the doctor, whose answer is to prescribe a sedative. Fortunately, Melody dodges the sedative bullet.
Even so, Melody's loving mother and father remain her staunches allies and fight like tigers on her behalf. Ignorant and insensitive doctors and teachers, brutal peers and others who treat Melody as an oddity stand in stark contrast to those who really love Melody and are willing to see the real Melody behind the CP she has.
A brilliant, truly gifted girl, Melody seeks a way to express herself to others. She attends a special needs class that offers some inclusion into non-special needs classes. She encounters the spectrum of peers and teachers ranging from truly kind to truly cruel.
Things change when a wonderful device is brought into her classroom. This device allows Melody to speak! And speak she does! Her words soar like falcons; her impressions and observations brighten her immediate environment and naturally her life improves. She has an entry to the world!
Sadly, not everybody is willing to accept Melody, the brilliant child as opposed to the helpless waif they had once believed her to be. Even so, Melody, a little raptor who had to beat her wings, takes off into full fledged flight.
Melody is truly an inspirational and delightful character. Her natural expression is nothing short of brilliant. Her other sensory modes have some overlapping, so she appears to have some degree of synesthesia, e.g. seeing colors in songs and hearing as well as tasting colors around her. Her descriptions are like Michaelangelo's painting style - pure, natural and graced with exquisite detail.
In addition to her extraordinary sensory perceptual skills, Melody is a virtuoso at reading other people. She has a wickedly funny wit, such as when she says that pink does not make her wheelchair cute. Her description of her father's flatulence issues and how funny his emissions are each time he takes a step is downright funny. She also describes her mounting frustration at not having a communication outlet as causing "tornadoes" to rise within her, resulting in major meltdowns. That is understandable, considering what she is grappling with.
This book deserves a place of honor among all. I really think every educator, parent, child, medical professional and speech specialist should read this masterpiece. This book belongs up for discussion among students, educators, families and medical professionals.
Sharon Draper is a truly gifted author. This book is like a mosaic - it is pieced together, making an incredible portrait. Readers travel down the emotional spectrum and feel everything from sadness, anger, joy, laughter and inspiration.
Melody is part of that mosaic. Her classmates, some of whom are developmentally/cognitively delayed, have autism and physical and cognitive conditions are rightfully portrayed as PEOPLE and NOT their conditions. If nothing else, this book, which might make you cry will certainly help people to move beyond labels to seeing the real person.
Stuck in Neutral is a good companion book to this one. Trueman's book, like Draper's remind readers never to assume that just because a person has severe CP which render them unable to talk or care for themselves, then they are incapable of comprehension. That is not true. Assuming people with severe physical challenges have the minds and are on the developmental plane of infants is a grave disservice to all. Melody's father was a wise man in that he talked to Melody in a normal tone and that he assumed she was learning. Everybody can learn and it is negligent cruelty to assume that they cannot.
On a related note, many people with severe autism are just as trapped in a sensory prison which can result in absent to poor verbal skills. People with severe autism such as Tito Mukhopadhyay are, more often than not of normal to gifted intelligence. Tito, a gifted young man with severe autism was trapped in a limbo of silence until he received one-on-one facilitated communication. Tito's mother, Soma, was a strong advocate for her son, much like Melody's parents are in this book. Soma knew that there was a linguistic key that would open the door to the world for Tito. Tito has even said in Strange Son and How Can I Talk If My Lips Don't Move: Inside My Autistic Mind that he has trouble using more than one sensory mode at a time and that in turn had a negative impact on his ability to communicate. The words were always there, inside him waiting to come out. Like Paul McCartney's 1968 "Blackbird," he took his broken wings and learned to fly. Melody bears a similar resemblance to Tito, but their barriers to communication are far different. Even so, the result is the same, just as when they were liberated with a way to make communication accessible. George Harrison's 1966 gem "I Want to Tell You" is the soundtrack of this book, together with the Beatles' classic "Across the Universe."
This book is a masterpiece. Please read it and share it with somebody. You will be glad that you did.
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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (Hardcover - 9 Mar 2010)