Sunday, May 29, 2011


It feels good to sit down to type a moment...

I have a new landmark book in my life, and I know it is in several of my student's' called Out of My Mind by Susan Draper (and now I am super interested in reading more of her books). It is about a young girl, Melody, who is trapped in her inability to communicate, or use her body because she is severely disabled by Cerebral Palsy. I am not going to tell you details because I really want you to read it. I will, however, tell you the powerful themes that impacted our reading community and reduced us to tears...the power of parents in kids' beliefs about their abilities, beliefs about disabilities and how society treats them, the power of the mind, the value of family over any other dream we may have, the sacrifices we make for each other, peer relationships and values...I could go on and on. The themes are sophisticated, yet the power of the conversations we had blew me away.

Here is my thought today. I know that book is not a light one. However, my students BEGGED me to keep reading, and we all grew from reading it. The amazing way it took us into someone else's experience...made us think outside ourselves...made us better people. I don't think I thought about things like that in third grade...but maybe I should have. Maybe opening the world to these kids though books like these will make them more empathetic...and make this world a better place.