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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 231

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is, above all else, a story about personhood and the tendency of society to refuse to acknowledge that the mentally challenged also possess those same qualities. Told in the form of an autobiography written by the main character, Melody Brooks, we are able to see Melody's life through her eyes and her unique mind, making us able to relate to her as to any other individual. This is a grace that has not been extended to her for most of her life, as she was born with cerebral palsy. Throughout the novel, we see her being treated differently than other people; and whether this treatment is benevolent (as in the case of her parents and teachers, who view her as special), or malicious (as in the case of her classmates in the standard class, Molly and Claire, who view her as abnormal), it is undeniably a constant in her life. Melody therefore internaliszes these messages that reinforce her "otherness," and even though she is only a child, we feel the conflict present in her between embarrassment about her condition and frustration about the treatment she receives thanks to it. We see Melody as a complex person with a rich inner life, just like any other person, and we see the way nobody acknowledges this simply because they do not perceive her as such.

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