Out of My Mind

a tackk project by Anabelle

Book Summary

Melody Brooks is 11 years old and she has never spoken a single word. Melody is not able to tell anyone her feelings and tell them she is actually very smart. She has Cerebral Palsy, a photographic memory, and she is able to hear colors. She finally gets an electric wheelchair, inclusion classes, her own aide named Catherine, a baby sister, a dog, and a machine that talks for her that she names Elvira after her favorite song. "Elvira" helps her show everyone she is smart and she finally gets on the Whiz Kids Quiz Team for her school to show the country that her disabilities don't limit her mind.

Melody -- Character Analysis

Melody Brooks is an 11 year-old girl with Cerebral Palsy. Despite her setbacks,Melody is really smart. She has a photographic memory and remembers everything she sees and she knows more than people think. She is also pretty funny. On page 84 Melody jokingly calls her mother fat. Melody also cooperates very well. On pages 42 and 43, Melody finally rolls over and grabs the monkey after Ms. V persuades her to.

Point Of View

The point of view of this story is first person. The point of view actually goes along with the title of the book because the story is told out of Melody's mind. The story wouldn't work any other way because no one except Melody can tell what she is feeling or how smart she is, even when she got "Elvira" she couldn't keep up with conversation with other kids.


The major settings in Out of My Mind are the Brooks' house, Ms. Violet Valencia's house, and classroom H-5. This story is set from Melody's birth to her being 11 years old. Melody's house is the only place Melody says she feels safe. She is comfortable there and loves being with her family and her dog Butterscotch. Ms. V's house is where melody goes after school to practice for the Whiz Kids Quiz Team (that leaves her at the airport) and Ms. V tutors her and she gives Melody sweets and soft drinks, giving Melody the name Mello Yello. Classroom H-5 is what Melody describes as looking like a preschool classroom with bunnies, flowers, and rainbows on the walls. Melody has had some good teachers and some bad teachers here one only even got to the letter B by February (Melody's mom took care of that one), while another had her listening to chapter books.

Cerebral Palsy

    In the book Out of My Mind, Melody Brooks is a girl with Cerebral Palsy who is actually very smart. She has a photographic memory so she remembers everything she sees and hears despite her disability.

     Cerebral Palsy is a disease, but it is not contagious. It can cause people to not be able to talk, walk, use muscles properly, and not to learn as easily as people without it.

The cause of cerebral palsy to have an injury to the brain in the mother's womb or soon after birth. Some symptoms are: muscles not working properly, hard to speak and communicate, hard to walk, and not easy to learn. There are also 3 types of cerebral palsy. They are spastic, athetoid and ataxic, but people may have cerebral palsy in different levels, some can walk, while others can't even move their wheelchairs by themselves.

Some people with Cerebral Palsy have special tools and accommodations to help them with daily life. Some kids have nurses or aides to do things for them like take them to the restroom, feed them, play with them, and take them where they need to go. In Out of My Mind, Melody has Catherine to do these things for her. People with Cerebral Palsy also use walkers, wheelchairs, and crutches to help them walk, depending on their abilities. They can also use special machines like Melody's "Elvira" to help them talk if they can't.

There are also many famous people with Cerebral Palsy. One person is Rick Hoyt who has run 70 marathons (including 32 Boston marathons) and 6 ironman triathlons. Rick doesn't actually do the running. He sits in his wheelchair while his dad, Dick Hoyt, pushes from behind. Another famous person with cerebral palsy is Abbey Nicole Curran. Abbey represented Iowa at the Miss USA 2008 pageant. she is now the chairman of her own non-profit pageant for disabled girls and women called the "Miss You Can Do It Pageant".


The themes of this story are that everyone has feelings and needs a voice and some things are different than what they seem. Melody was smart and needed conversation, but she was shut up in her own head day in and day out for 11 years until she got a voice to show everyone what they thought was impossible.

Sharon Draper, author of Out Of My Mind

Melody Is An OVERCOMER!!!

Music By: Mandisa

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