When I think of the book Out of My Mind, a fish is the first image I think of. Maybe because it is on multiple covers of the book, but mostly, it is because it represents Melody’s physical limitations. Melody Brooks is a girl with cerebral palsy, a disease that limits her from walking, talking, and controlling her body, but not her mind. “Everybody uses words to express themselves. Except me. And I bet most people don’t realize the real power of words. But I do. Thoughts need words. Words need a voice,” Melody said. Her body is limiting her from doing regular, every-day activities. She is totally smart and capable, but no one seems to notice, not even her family.
Melody’s fish was a big symbol in the book. Her fish kept swimming in circles until he jumped out of the bowl and died. This fish is symbolic because it is a metaphor that implies to her. In the book, it said that her fish opened its mouth with no words to come. It is implied that the fish was so fed up with its body, that it jumped out and died. She feels trapped in her own body, and can't get out to express herself, just like her pet fish. She sometimes feels like she’s going crazy in there because she can't get out. Melody’s thoughts and ideas are encapsulated in her mind, and cannot tell them to anyone else. She has so many things to say, but not one word comes out. When her goldfish jumps out of the bowl, Melody cannot save it because of her disability. At these times, she feels extremely helpless.
The beginning of the book was intriguing, seeing a glimpse of Melody’s world, and who the world thinks she is. I think Melody is the most developed character, being the main one. She is also more different than any other character in this book, so the author had to put more research and thought into creating her. The author focuses much more on creating her (Melody’s) character than the simpler roles like her parents, teachers, friends, and other side characters. This shows her enormous development as an obvious statement to avid readers. Melody, at the beginning of the book, was misunderstood by her peers and sometimes her parents, but after she showed her true self, she started to open up to others and vice versa.
I did not find myself disengaged at any moment in the book because it shows a disabled girl’s perspective of life, and how different it is from a “normal” view. Many people have opinions about the disabled, and that they are less than abled people, but this book proves the opinion wrong. She has all the ability to do amazing things, but her disability limits her body to implement them. Melody could now do regular things like taking tests or other everyday activities that include talking with some help. Her everyday activities are intriguing and the author explained them in detail.
I think the author wrote this book to inform people about disabilities and how they can't hold anyone back. I learned that even if someone has a disability, it doesn't mean they are lacking in wit or any less smart. Melody is like people I know because she is strong, smart, kind, and fun to be around. I think the mood of the book is resilient, persevering, and talented. Melody persevered to get what she needed and is resilient because she never gave up on conveying her thoughts and ideas to others. She also has a lot of talent hiding in herself and continuously tries her best to showcase it. If I were the author, I would include some emotional, vulnerable moments in the book with Melody and her parents. The fact that their child is different, is going to be judged, and cannot express herself in a way most people can, saddens them. This moment in the book is important because it establishes that something that affects you can affect others as well emotionally. At this moment, you would see how her parents feel about Melody’s disability and how it impacts them too. If their child could freely express themselves, then they wouldn't have to worry too much about her and her future. Since Melody has some physical limitations, she is not able to do that without help. This type of content is necessary because then you can see how something that mainly affects someone, can have negative effects on those around them. We can also see another perspective of the story, which leads to more thinking and meaning about the book. If everyone on earth read, “Out of Your Mind,” more people would understand that people with disabilities might not be what they seem like on the outside at all. People suffering from disabilities will also find the book inspiring because they can at least try to express themselves.
I connect with this book because I used to be very shy and in my shell but now I am not afraid of making friends. Even though it takes me a while to get adjusted to a new environment, I will eventually adapt to the circumstances. People like Melody can also be inspired by her and have some hope that one day, they can overcome their limits and express themselves in ways they couldn't before. Books like this give hope to others and I would recommend this book for readers to see how it is from the perspective of someone who has physical disabilities. I would strongly recommend this book for grades four and above or even younger children, depending on the reading level. Overall, Out of My Mind is surely an appreciable book to read. It is inspiring, informational, has a great story, is a great interpretation of what people with physical disabilities live like, and has a great message.