Simon & Schuster Australia
- Atheneum Books for Young Readers |
- 320 pages |
- ISBN 9781416971719 |
- August 2013 |
- Grades 5 and up |
- Lexile 700
This is an older title which I have only just read and if you loved ‘Wonder’ (R. J. Palacio) you will also love this book.
Melody is an extremely intelligent 11 year old girl with a photographic memory. The problem is that nobody knows this – not even her parents who are her strongest supporters. Melody has cerebral palsy and cannot walk, talk, feed herself or accomplish any physical actions except using her thumbs. Her schooling has been a torturous confinement to a ‘special education’ room where teachers come and go with scant disregard to their students’ abilities.
But Melody’s life is changing. A move to integrate the disabled students into mainstream classrooms is one positive, especially when accompanied by an intuitive young woman named Catherine who becomes Melody’s helper in class. Suddenly Melody has teachers who are keen to empower her and in particular Catherine’s brainwave about a device called a Medi-Talker allows Melody to find her voice. Her neighbour, retired teacher Rose, is another adult instrumental in fostering Melody’s emergence from her long silence.
Despite obstacles of bullying classmates and insensitive adults (teachers and doctors) Melody begins to shine as her extraordinary mental ability begins to emerge triumphantly. With her hero being Stephen Hawking Melody knows that she too can conquer the world – even if it does take twice the effort of anyone else.
This is a marvellous novel and there is much to support it is a class study or simply as a recommendation to our students as we encourage them to become more empathic.
Highly recommended for astute readers of around 9 years and up.