Out of My Mind

a Realistic Fiction Novel

by Sharon M. Draper

Quote From Book:

"What your body looks like has nothing to do with how well your brain works! You ought to know that by looking in the mirror!"

Look what's going on in this kid's brain!

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Intelligence is the brain's knowledge, not the body's knowledge; the body's knowledge is beauty, not intelligence.

Do not judge one on their looks or disabilities; only a smart brain is needed to make a person smart!

To be smart, one is not necessarily beautiful or "good-looking." One just has to have a smart brain. Somebody may be extremely smart, even if they look stupid, ugly, or if they have disabilities.


Melody Brooks is a clear example of this: she cannot walk or talk, so the students think that she is a mere idiot. Nevertheless, her intelligence was recognized after she and the other students took a practice test that determined whom that will be on the Whiz Kids team of their school, Spaulding Street Elementary. Whiz Kids is a competition for elementary school students, where the top four students will be representing the school. The teams (from different schools across the U.S.) "battle" other teams; the team that wins is the team that scores the most points from answering the most questions correctly. The whiz kids consists of many kinds of questions: science, social studies, geography, mathematics, history, and so on.


Melody had gotten the best score (a perfect score) on a practice test, so she is on the team for the school. However, all of the students, including her best friend Rose, and even the teacher, Mr. Dimming, think that she should not be on the team. Although she was excepted on the team, the students and Mr. Dimming should believing that she is stupid.


Clearly, evidence (taking the practice test) showed that she is intelligent and the most intelligent of the school. The slogan, "Intelligence is the brain's knowledge, not the body's knowledge; the body's knowledge is beauty, not intelligence—" means that the amount of intelligence one has is dependent upon how much knowledge one's brain has; nevertheless, how "good-looking" one is, does not affect how smart one is. The quote from the book, "What your body looks like has nothing to do with how well your brain works! You ought to know that by looking in the mirror—" was said by Catherine, Melody's helper. She was angrily yelling at the students who think that Melody is dumb or that because Melody looks weird, she is dumb. She is saying that one's brain is not affected by the way one's body functions, in other words, if one is "good-looking", he or she might be just plain dumb.


Melody has proven her ability of answering all the questions on the practice test correctly, and has proven herself better than all the other "normal" kids, so why not they take her on the team? Why is she so underestimated and left out? She is the smartest kid in the school! As one can see, one that is smart does not necessarily have to be a "good-looking" or "normal" kid. If one is not "good-looking" or not "normal," one is not necessarily stupid or weird.