What is a summary of Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper?

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Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper tells the story of Melody Brooks, an intelligent eleven-year-old girl who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Through first-person point of view, we learn about the struggles that Melody faces being unable to speak, move, or communicate her thoughts and wishes. When she is only five years old, a doctor diagnoses her as profoundly retarded and recommends her parents place her in a nursing home. Instead, her parents enroll her in an elementary school. However, Melody becomes frustrated by being in a special class and learning the same things over and over again.

When Melody is eight years old, she learns that her mother is pregnant. Despite her parents’ fears about having another disabled child, the baby is born perfectly healthy. Although Melody loves her little sister, she is also jealous watching her grow and mature, since Melody will never be able to do the things her sister can.

When she is in fifth grade, Melody is given a device to help her communicate with other people. Her teacher also starts a new program allowing students with special needs like Melody to be included in standard classes. Although some of the students, and even the teacher, do not believe Melody is able to keep up intellectually with the other students in the class, she surprises them all by passing trivia exams and helping her trivia team make it to the national competition.

On the day of the competition, the flight is delayed due to weather, but the rest of the team is able to make an earlier flight without Melody. The next day, on their way to school, Melody notices her younger sister is in the way of the car, and her mother doesn’t notice. She kicks, screams, and yells, but it is to no avail. Her sister is hit and injured, and Melody feels it is her fault, since she wasn’t able to warn her mother.

At school, the trivia team gives Melody the trophy from the national competition in hopes of reconciliation. She forgives them but ruins the trophy. The next day she works with her aid to write an autobiography, which turns about to be the book we are reading.

Through her experiences, Melody learns that in general, people underestimate talents that those with disabilities possess. Although she tries to fit in with her peers, she also learns that she will never be the same as them, but that is okay, as long as she has people that love her for who she is.

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Written by American children’s author, Sharon M. Draper, the novel Out of My Mind tells the story of ten-year-old Melody Brooks. It is written in the first person from Melody’s perspective.

Melody has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair, and unable to speak. She is a very bright and intelligent girl and her disability, and inability to communicate leaves her frustrated.

I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old.

Melody is initially in the special education classes in school but is happy when she is moved into the regular classroom with the other children. But, she is still frustrated at being unable to join in with the class discussions.

But, inclusion doesn’t mean I’m included in everything. I usually sit in the back of the room, going crazy because I know answers to things and can’t tell anybody.

Finally, Melody’s intelligence is noticed by the teachers and she is placed on the Whiz Kids quiz team. The team is due to take part in a tournament which will be broadcast on television. Sadly, Melody must deal with bullying from the other members of the team. Some of them are cruel about her disability, and others are jealous of how intelligent Melody is. When Melody is instrumental in their winning the first stage of the tournament, the team is angry and resentful.

The national tournament is taking place in Washington DC, but, when the flight is canceled due to bad weather, nobody tells Melody and her family about the change of travel plans. Melody is unable to join them and the team does badly, finishing in ninth place. When Melody goes to school the next day, the team apologizes to her for how they have treated her and offer her the trophy.

I look at the ugly little statue, and I start to giggle. Then I crack up. Finally, I roll with laughter. My hand jerks out and hits the trophy - I’m not sure if it was an accident or not - and it falls to the floor, breaking into several pieces.

After the trophy hits the ground, Melody leaves the room.

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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper narrates the story of Melody Brooks, a girl with cerebral palsy. Melody’s body is paralyzed, forcing her to use a wheelchair, and although she has normal brain function, she is mute. Melody dislikes her special needs classes but is unable to voice her opinions. As such, she is forced to fight for her ambitions.

In the novel, Melody’s parents put in considerable effort to help their daughter have a normal life. Although Melody is diagnosed with an intellectual disability, her mother enrolls her in a public school to give her an opportunity to succeed. Mrs. V. is Melody’s neighbor who is instrumental in aiding Melody to become independent. Through this encouragement, Melody pushes herself to succeed while still relying on her parents for her basic needs.

At the age of eight, Melody becomes an older sister to her parents’ new baby, Penny. Although Melody becomes jealous of her sister’s abilities, she cares for Penny unconditionally. While in the fifth grade, Melody joins an inclusion program that allows special needs children to join regular classes. Many of the other students, along with Melody’s teacher, assume that she is incapable of performing. Consequently, they are all surprised at her active academic participation and her success in a trivia competition. In the end, Melody’s class apologizes for the way they have treated her.

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This book is about an eleven-year-old girl named Melody who has a condition called cerebral palsy. Because she cannot speak, walk, use the bathroom on her own, or feed herself, people assume that she is stupid, but she is actually quite bright and has a photographic memory. She has a pink wheelchair, but she thinks it does not make the wheelchair any cuter. Her reality—that people do not realize what a good mind she has—drives her crazy. Even doctors do not understand her. She is placed in a class for developmentally delayed kids and is incredibly bored, though she cannot relate that information to the people around her. She has a normal developing sister named Penny, who is 8 years younger than she is. 

When she is in fifth grade, she begins to use a communication device to speak, and she is placed in a standard class with the help of an aide. However, the students around her continue to think she is dumb, and some students bully her. She participates in a trivia contest and helps her team win a spot in a national competition. However, she continues to deal with exclusion and misunderstanding from the people around her.

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