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The book Out of My Mind is about a young 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy. The girl, Melody Brooks, has never spoken a word, moves around using a wheelchair, and has great memory. One day, she had a doctor’s visit to test how intelligent she was. She understood the doctor, but had a different way of thinking, which made the doctor believe that she wasn’t smart. The doctor told Melody’s mother about the news and suggested taking her to a special school for the disabled. Her mother disagreed and would never send her to a special school, so she decided to enroll Melody at Spaulding Street Elementary School.
Melody was placed in a special class, but her class was later combined with normal classes. After school, she would hang out with Mrs. Violet Valencia, or Mrs.V, to practice words and phrases using a board with words. She would use the board to point at the words to communicate. Melody had a pet goldfish, but it later died after it jumped out of the fish bowl. Her parents surprised her with a new puppy for her birthday. She named the puppy Butterscotch, after her favorite candy. Eventually, she had a baby sister, Penny. Penny was a perfect baby; she walked, talked, and their dad recorded almost everything she did. Melody was gifted an electric wheelchair at the start of fifth grade. It was an upgrade from her manual wheelchair. She was able to move by herself. During School, Melody met Rose after a spelling test they took and they became friends.
The school decided to provide aides for disabled kids. Melody’s aide was Catherine. Catherine helped her write and pushed her around. Instead of pointing to words on a board, she bought a Medi-Talker. She would have to type in words and it would say it out loud. Melody was finally able to tell her mom “I love you” for the first time. She brought it to school for the first time, and everybody was amazed.
The Whiz Quiz competition was coming up for the elementary schools. The first place teams get to go to Washington D.C. for the nationals and have a chance to be on Good Morning America. There was a practice quiz and Melody wanted to participate. The teacher, Mr. Dimmings, thought she wouldn’t do great on the quiz, but she was the only student to score a hundred percent on the quiz. Mrs. V was happy to hear the news and wanted to help her practice for the Whiz Quiz tryouts coming soon.
She read information to Melody and quizzed her until it was time for the tryouts. The day of the tryouts came and Melody was nervous. Everyone was surprised, even Mr. Dimmings. He wasn’t going to allow Melody to join, but she insisted on being on the team, so he ended up letting her take the quiz. Just like the practice quiz, she scored a hundred on the quiz and made it to the team along with Connor Bates, Claire Wilson, and Rose Spencer. Melody couldn’t believe she made it to the team.
The day of the competition came quickly. She arrived at the studio where it took place. She was shown how to use the buzzer for answering questions. The rest of her teammates came shortly after and were also shown how to use the buzzer. The competition started and Melody was ready. They ended up winning the competition and went to Linguini’s as a dinner celebration. Melody was too embarrassed to fed by her mother, so she brought it back home.
A couple of days passed by and it was time to go to Washington D.C. Melody and her mother were packed up and ready to go. They got to the airport and were stopped when the lady at the front desk said that their flight was cancelled and the rest of their group left an hour early. The next flight would have arrived in Washington D.C. at 9 am, which was too late since the competition starts at 7 am. They ended up going home instead. Melody was distraught about it and didn’t feel like eating the whole day.
Monday came, so it was time for her to go back to school. When she entered class, she was told that they had gotten 9th place and she asked why they left her. Rose explained that she was about to call her, but everyone shook their head no. Rose felt bad and started crying. Connor went up to Melody and gave her their trophy to make it up. Melody knocked it over and started laughing, saying that they deserved it. Everyone else started laughing with her. Afterwards, her life started to become more and more normal each day.