Did your students fall in love with Melody? The sequel to Out of My Mind. | Mentoring in the Middle

Did your students fall in love with Melody? The sequel to Out of My Mind.

 Have you read Out of My Mind to your students?  I did for several years, and the wonder and indignation they felt on her behalf was palpable.  It also made them think more about differences between students, and perhaps for a while, treat each other a little more kindly.

In Out of My Mind, you meet Melody, a brilliant young girl with cerebral palsy.  Because her body can't sit, stand, walk, or talk, judgments are made about what her brain can do.  It is only when she is able to get a computerized speaking device that people realize how very capable she is.

So I was excited when I saw that Sharon Draper had written another book about Melody, and I was curious about what would happen to her, a year after she got her Medi-Talker.  Out of My Heart is Melody's journey through summer camp, a camp specifically for students with disabilities.

Although she's nervous about what she's going to be able to do given the limitations of her body, she discovers that she can do a lot, with the right people and equipment to help her.  She swims, rides a zip line, boats, rides a horse, and more.  She makes friends, good friends who get her.  She meets a boy.  They all have experienced how lonely it can be when your body doesn't do all the things that other kids' bodies can do.

Here at camp, everyone has something going on, and kids feel like they've entered a safe haven.  They're more accepting of each other's differences, and you get the feeling that the friendships will be more enduring.

I didn't love this book as much as the first one, but only because the story arc wasn't as dramatic in this one as in Out of My Mind.  

Your student should still read this book.  What they will learn about adaptive technologies and camps for students like Melody may make them want to learn more.  This is a sweetly told story about a young girl learning all of the things that she can do, after having spent so many years learning what she can't.

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