I picked this book up at the Library the other day and quite honestly, I haven’t read such a powerful book in a long time. One that really reached through to my heart and clenched it with every word as Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper has.
Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes — each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.
Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.
From the time I was really little — maybe just a few months old — words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade.
But only in my head.
I have never spoken a single word. I am almost eleven years old.
The book is written from the point of view of a girl with Cerebral Palsy. A normal, highly intelligent tween that is stuck in a disabled body. She feels and understands things just like everyone else, although she has a memory that far surpasses most of our capabilities. You follow her as she tells the story of her difficulties, her love for her parents that she’s unable to express through communication and her feelings for her sister and her school mates. One day she is given a tool that allows her to speak and on one hand it changes everything and on another you realize that some things are sadly indifferent.
More and more have I read stories about children with severe disabilities, such as Melody in the story, to mental/physical challenges like Autism, and how these children that once were deemed mentally incapable began to speak. The struggles parents had went through to push their children, knowing in their hearts that their minds were strong and well despite their challenges and the eventual success of finding a medium that allowed them to have a voice. It reminds me of this story of Carly that recently was told by ABC News.