Recently, my husband was able to listen in on a ‘jam’ session at the NAMM show. He was later telling me about one of the musicians and said “You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he was one incredible guitar player”. It got me thinking about how often we assume things about people.
A few days later we were in Barnes & Noble looking through books and I picked up, out of my mind by Sharon M. Draper. The description on the back fell into this thought of how we assume who people are by looking at them:
Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school – but NO ONE knows it. Most people – her teacher and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently, her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows… but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind – that is, until she discovers something t hat will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice… but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.
I got home and fell into this beautiful book about Melody. Being trapped in your own body. Being a fifth grader with no effective way to communicate with the world around you. Finally finding her voice and having people shut her down because they’ve assumed who she is for so long. Melody gripped my heart and had me cheering for her, wanting to fight for her and crying with her until the very end.
This is a book for young readers (10yrs old +), but gives any reader insight into the assumptions we make about those around us.