Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
By Abby & Amber

Cerebral Palsy


Do you have any friends or family with Cerebral Palsy? In the book Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper, Melody Brooks has Cerebral Palsy. She can't walk, talk, or eat on her own. She uses an electric wheelchair and uses a type of computer, the Medi-Talker, to communicate. She is very intelligent and loves music.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects babies and kids. Someone with Cerebral Palsy will have a hard time controlling their muscles. Usually your brain tells your body what and when to do something, but a kid with Cerebral Palsy might not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play by themselves. It depends on which part of the brain is affected that determines what the kid can and can't do.

There are three types of Cerebral Palsy: Athetoid, Ataxic, and Spastic. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy makes a kid have trouble controlling the muscles of the body. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy makes a kid have trouble with balance and coordination. Spastic Cerebral Palsy makes a kid have trouble relaxing the muscles. The causes of Cerebral Palsy are that babies that have brain injuries during pregnancy or after birth. Premature babies are more likely to have Cerebral Palsy than babies born on or near the due date. Cerebral Palsy is not contagious .

Some accommodations that kids with Cerebral Palsy have is that they need to get wheelchairs, leg braces, or crutches. They also need a special way to communicate in some severe cases. Most kids must have something to help them walk. It depends on the severity of it to determine what the kid needs.

Famous People with Cerebral Palsy

Some famous people with Cerebral Palsy are Abbey Nicole Curran. She ran for Iowa in the Miss USA 2008 pageant. Dan Keplinger also has Cerebral Palsy. He is an artist. The last person is Dr. Janice Brunstrom. She is a pediatric neurologist. She is the only pediatric neurologist in the United States with Cerebral Palsy. This shows that even if you have Cerebral Palsy you can still be successful.

Point of View

The point of view in Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is in first person. This is because there are words such as me, I, we, us, and my. The story says, "I can't talk. I can't walk. I can't feed myself or take myself to the bathroom." The story also says,"My electric chair is a lot heavier than my manual chair." The last thing the story says is,"I usually sit in the back of the room, going crazy because I know answers to things and can't tell anybody."


The setting of Out of my Mind is mainly in Melody's house because that's where she eats her dinner and stays every night. Another setting would be Mrs. V's house. That's where she goes after school, and that's where she stays when her parents aren't home. The last setting is her school. She goes to school every day, so she spends lots of time there.


The theme of Out of my Mind is to not judge a book by its cover. I know this because the story says, " The only person who got every single question correct is... Melody Brooks." Another thing the story says is, "When Melody Brooks took that little practice quiz with us last week, I thought it was a lucky accident that she did so well. But yesterday Melody blew us all away. She got every single question right." The last thing the story says is, " What's the definition of the word 'dignity'? One of my teacher's asked a few days ago. Of course I know, so I raised my hand, but the teacher didn't notice the small movement I'm able to make." This shows that you may look different, but in the inside you're no different than anyone else.


Melody loves words, but she can't talk. She goes to Spaulding Street Elementary School, which competes in the Whiz Quiz Competition each year. Melody took the the test, and got the highest score. She studied a lot before the competition. She competed in the local quiz competition, and they won. Melody and the team were going to Washington D.C. to have the chance to be on Good Morning America. The quiz team ended up going to the airport earlier and leaving Melody behind. They said it wasn't on purpose, but Melody doesn't believe it. The day after Melody was supposed to be in Washington, her sister, Penny, was hit by a car. Mom was backing up to take Melody to school, but she didn't know Penny was behind her. Melody was trying to warn her but it didn't work. Penny was okay, but she had a broken leg and a couple of bruises. That's a summary of the story Out of my Mind.