After repeatedly hearing what a great book this is from several people, and most importantly my 10 year old son, I decided to read it out loud to my 8 year old daughter. Neither of were prepared for the emotional impact his book would have on us and for me, it lingers in my mind to this day. Meet Melody. She is a 5th grader who suffers from cerebral palsy. Although Melody has never spoken a single word or walked one step, she is one brillant young girl. Her mind is always working overtime! This book is about assumptions….the ones we make about people who are different than us, especially people with disabilites. Everyone in Melody’s world assumes just because her body doesn’t work that her brain doesn’t either. This book is told in Melody’s unsentimental voice, and she tells it exactly how it is! With the exception of her parents and another caregiver, she is considered invisible and incapable of interaction, let alone actually being able to learn something or contribute in a classroom setting. She is literally going “out of her mind” from boredom and frustration and the inability ot express herself. She is wasting away in school classes that don’t even begin to quench her thirst for learning….until a special teacher sees her potential. Soon after, with the help of her devoted after-school care giver, Melody acquires a medi-talker (a machine that gives her a voice) and a whole new world is opens up to her….but it isn’t necessarily an accepting one. Melody still struggles against preconceived notions about her and her disability….even from teachers! This book is a must read for 3-6 graders, and is a Mark Twain nominee with a strong chance of winning this year’s award. My money is on Sharon Draper! This is a great book with a tough, but realistic ending.