Out of My Mind Themes
by Sharon M. Draper

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Out of My Mind Themes

One of the themes of this book is how the general public underestimates the talents of people with differences. As Melody is not verbal and has cerebral palsy, people think she has no intellect. Even doctors, such as Dr. Hugely, think she has no mind because she can't make herself understood to them. As the author writes in Melody's voice,

Dr. Hugely, even though he had been to college for, like, a million years, would never be smart enough to see inside me.

It is not until she receives a communication aid that people begin to understand how intelligent Melody is, but they don't really try before that time.

Another theme is the way Melody, in spite of her differences, is similar to other kids and shares their struggles. For example, she is delighted to have her first friend of her age, Rose, and Melody worries that Rose will decide not to like her. Like other kids, Melody tries to become independent from her parents (in her case, by learning how to crawl, though her parents still have to dress her and brush her teeth). She also struggles to accept her new sister, Penny, and is jealous of her, in some of the same ways any child would be jealous of a new sibling. Therefore, Melody has the same joys and struggles as other kids do, though she has cerebral palsy.