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IR LETTER 2-11-11

Page history last edited by Laura Mullen 9 years, 7 months ago

February 12, 2011

Dear Mrs. Mullen,

            I am reading Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  It is about an eleven-year-old girl named Melody who has a disease that makes her unable to talk, walk and write.  She goes to a regular school except she is in a class with children with all different disabilities. When she gets to fifth grade, she is able to go to classes with some other kids without disabilities.   She meets a girl named Rose. Melody befriends her and they go on adventures together.  

     Reading this book made me realize how much I appreciate my life; I can walk, talk, and write.  Melody has a really hard life and before I read this book, I did not really appreciate that I can write, talk and walk.  She has to go through a lot of challenges.  No one understands her and she has a hard time moving so she can't gesture for what she wants.  It makes me feel sad to think of all the kids out in the world that have disabilities They never get noticed by other kids and when they do people just stare at them.  No one wants to go over to them and ask them "How are you" or "I like you shirt," people just stare.  Also, I thought that Rose was a really good example to other kids because not everyone would have the courage to stand up for another person who they did not know, and especially if everyone is making fun of that person.  Rose is a perfect role-model for kids.  Another thing that I liked about this book was, that it showed that even though kids may look different on the outside, they can be the opposite on the inside.  Melody, for example, is in a wheelchair all the time and can't talk, but she is always thinking, always learning new words like any other kid.  People should respect that and not judge a book by its cover.   

     Even though I liked this book overall, I wish that somethings could be different.  One thing that I wished the author would change is, that she does not put that much detail into her writing.  It never explains what kind of disease Melody has until the last part of the book, and other important details that we should know.  Another thing is that Sharon Draper uses the word "normal", I don't really understand that.  What is the definition of "normal"?  Kids without disabilities and with disabilities are all "normal", we all are human, it's not like we are something like a giraffe thats half human, that would be considered "not normal".  Also, it made me really sad to see Melody not missed by her classmates.  Her friend Rose did not even check to make sure she was OK one day when she did not show up in class.  In life, people are going to ask where you were, even if they are not your favorite people.  They are going to make sure that you are feeling fine, or if something happened to you they will try and comfort you. Thank you for your suggestion, I really love this book so far.






Dear Ali,


Thank you for your letter. Out of My Mind was the first book since Diamond Willow that made me cry.  I felt sympathy for Melody and her parents.  I thought the sections when she describes what life was like as an infant were fascinating.  Draper was able to make me feel the pain of what it would be like to have all one's thoughts and words trapped!  It was awful.  I am thinking as I write this that the goldfish leaping out of its bowl is a metaphor for Melody's journey.  What do you think?


Great ideas on the use of "normal".  Do you think all people get asked where they were after an absence?  Melody's character is speaking the truth about this topic.  It is too common for certain kids to feel invisible. Now that you are aware of this issue, be a detective and study it.  I bet you will discover some interesting things about human interaction and behavior. 


What did you think of the character who lives next to Melody and her family?  I admired her.  I also admire the ending of the book, but I will talk about that with you later.  Let me know when you finish it.




Mrs. Mullen




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