As a girl with Aspergers, I have the opposite problem: I can talk, but I often have no words to describe how I'm feeling. But this isn't one of those books where you sit there and feel worse and worse for the main character (I did catch myself saying "Poor Melody!" a ton of times, but it was mostly for the idiots she has to work with.) The book is very realistic in that she doesn't have problems with JUST her disability, she may have some trust issues because of the way people treated her in the past. She doesn't trust doctors, special ed teachers, or sometimes her own parents to understand what she's going through. Well, maybe they can't understand, but that doesn't mean they aren't trying (the parents, I mean. The doctors and special ed teachers are mostly awful.)
My favorite part is the part near the beginning, where Melody has to take an IQ test but she "fails" (even though it was really the doctor who sucks at giving tests and underestimated her mental abilities while overestimating her ability to pick up blocks.) Her mom stands up for Melody and tells the doctor "You're not so intelligent, sir -you're just lucky!... Melody is able to figure out things, communicate, and manage in a world where nothing works for her. She's the one with true intelligence!," (Draper 26).
There's a lesson special ed teachers can take from this book. Most of the special ed teachers are boring or awful -they underestimate the children and treat them like babies. One teacher even tried to teach them the ALPHABET, when most of them were in second to fourth grade! But they have one good special ed teacher who learns the individual students and takes away the awful baby elements from their environment.
The book talks about the events of Melody's life -her memory as a baby, her goldfish's suicide, her puppy and baby sister, and near the middle of the story she FINALLY gets to talk when they get her a Stephen Hawking-like communicator! The story is written in an easy-to-follow way, with enough details to keep kids interested but not so much they get lost and can't figure out what's going on. Melody is hilarious and relate-able. I would recommend this book for preteens or anybody like me who needs easy-to-follow books.