Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper

Jessie & Ashton


Melody Brooks is an eleven year old girl with cerebral palsy. Everywhere she goes, she uses a wheelchair. Melody is a very smart, and even has a photographic memory, but nobody knows that because she can't speak. Until, one day, she got a speaking machine, and everybody was just blown away with what she knew. She got into a big academic competition, and she was the smartest person on her team, but her team decided to leave her behind because she was different. Melody decided not to feel sorry for herself, and she moved on.

Melody Brooks

Melody Brooks from "Out of my Mind" is a very interesting girl. Melody is eleven years old and has never said a word. She also has to use a wheelchair everywhere she goes. Melody has cerebral palsy. She has short, dark, curly hair, dark brown eyes, and her wheelchair is pink. Melody is cooperative when she lets her dad fix her noodles when she really wants a Big Mac. Another time she was cooperative was when Mrs.V wanted her to roll over, and Melody didn't want to, but she did anyways. Melody is funny because she teases her mom about being fat. She is very intelligent. Melody has a photographic memory. Her doctor asked her, "Which animal has a calf? A cow, camel, whale, or elephant?" Melody knew that all of those animals have calves, but she couldn't tell anyone that. If you had cerebral palsy, wouldn't you be out of your mind?

Cerebral Palsy

Melody from Out of my Mind has cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy makes life harder. Melody Brooks has spastic cerebral palsy. That makes it difficult for Melody to talk, walk, and even eat.

Cerebral palsy is a condition where you can't walk or talk. You would develop cerebral palsy as a young child or before birth. The name was created because cerebral means brain and palsy means a problem in the person's movements.

Cerebral palsy comes in 3 forms: spastic, athetoid, and ataxic. Spastic means that your muscles are stiff. Athetoid means that you can't control your muscles. Ataxic means that you have problems with balance and coordination. Some of the causes might be a disease of the brain or the nervous system.

If you have cerebral palsy, you might need to use crutches, braces, or a wheelchair depending on how severe your condition is. You also might need extra help to eat and go to the bathroom. If you have cerebral palsy and can't talk, you might need a talking machine or computer.

Famous people suffer from cerebral palsy, too. RJ Mitte from the TV show Breaking Bad suffers from cerebral palsy. Josh Blue, a  famous comedian has cerebral palsy. Anne McDonald is a famous author that suffers from cerebral palsy. They had to overcome adversity. Have you ever had to overcome something?

RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad.


The theme of "Out of my Mind" is that all people are the same whether or not they have a disability. Everybody thought that Melody was dumb. They also thought that she couldn't do anything. Melody fell out of her chair and Mrs.V made her roll over and she did. Melody was the only person in the class that got all of the answers right on the practice quiz.  Melody's teacher, Mrs. Billups, didn't read their files from last year, so she assumed that the kids in H-5 were dumb. Melody loved to read and all the other kids were actually smart kids. This shows that you should never judge a book by its cover.


Mrs. V's house is important to Melody because that is where she goes after school and Mrs. V is very close to her and helped her study for the quiz team. Melody's house is important to her because that is where she is comfortable and where her family is. Another place that is important to her is Spaulding Street Elementary. Spaulding Street is where her aide Catherine and her friend Rose are. She also gets to study for the Whiz-Kids competition.

Authors's point of view

Out of my Mind is written in first-person point of view. This is an important element of the story because we know what Melody is thinking and how she feels. We know this because Melody says, "I'm surrounded by thousands of words, maybe even millions." She also types "Hi everybody. I have a new computer." Melody later says, "No, afraid it would feel so good, I'd just fly away."

Some people say Melody can't do things because she has cerebral palsy. They are wrong!

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