This book by Sharon M. Draper has an incredibly interesting concept; an 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy is the narrator telling us the story of her life. The kicker to the story is that through her disability she is not able to speak amongst many things, so the outside world does not know just how smart she really is. Although labeled as mentally incompetent her parents believe in her smarts and this book follows her mainly through 5th grade and her mission to show the world her thoughts.
I loved the concept of this book but soon found the story got a little too caught up in 5th grade drama and lost some of its heart. I want to root for this girl, but after a while, the writing did become slightly repetitive, but still; the story is worthwhile and definitely makes you think about how we see people who are differently abled and how quickly we can judge.
This book did make enough of an impression to be one of the two finalists for the Global Read Aloud 2013.
Excerpt from the book from Amazon:
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.