Out of My Mind
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Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
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Out of My Mind
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Reading Group Guide
by Sharon M. Draper
1. The novel opens with a powerful discussion of the power of words and language. How does this help capture the reader’s attention? What predictions can the reader make about the narrator of the story? What inferences can be made about the thought processes of the narrator’s mind?
2. In a world that does not work for her, what seems to cause the biggest frustrations for Melody?
3. Describe Melody’s parents. How do they learn to communicate with Melody and help her to overcome everyday problems? Why are those efforts sometimes a complete failure?
4. How does Melody feel about school? How does she fit in with her classmates and what makes her different from the rest of the children in H-5? What would be Melody’s ideal school situation?
5. Discuss Melody’s teachers since she began going to school. What does this say about her school system, or about attitudes at her school about teaching children with special needs?
6. Describe Mrs. V. What role does she play in Melody’s development? Why is she a necessary addition to Melody’s life?
7. What is significant about the story of Ollie the fish? How does Ollie’s life mirror Melody’s? Describe Melody’s feelings when she is unable to tell her mother what really happened.
8. Describe how the introduction of Penny as see more