Chapters 28 and 29

Chapter 28


Melody finds out that she makes the final quiz team that gets to go to Washington! Claire does not make the team. Melody gets to go shopping and get some new outfits for the trip- no practical sweats! Her mom, Mrs. V, and Melody pack to make sure they are completely prepared for this exciting trip. Then the unthinkable happens. Melody’s flight is cancelled due to weather, but somehow the rest of the team was able to get out on an earlier flight. There are no other flights that will get her to Washington before the competition, and it is too far to drive and get there on time. Melody will miss the competition.


Chapter 29

Melody returns home and lies in her bed. She can’t sleep. The events of the day are running through her head with endless questions about why and how this could have happened. Did they leave her on purpose? She is frustrated that she can’t even hit something or stomp her feet to show her frustration. Penny comes to snuggle with her, which calms Melody down a little. Mr. Dimming calls to apologize and promises to make it up to her. Melody’s mom does not accept the apology.


These were such heartbreaking chapters. To go from such joy and anticipation to such sadness and rejection, is so hard to process and accept. This child has worked so hard and overcame so many obstacles! Her family has sacrificed and supported her. They just can’t seem to catch a break. As I was reading I could feel the rejection, taking me back to my middle school and high school years, when I had felt left out and rejected. It is a pain that you never truly forget. But as a parent, I have learned that there is no pain greater than to see your child suffer and know that you can’t do anything to make it better. I keep thinking (hoping) that there must have been a good explanation for why no one called to tell Melody to come early. Why was she not invited out to breakfast with the rest of the team? It is so hard for me to imagine that a teacher would not make every effort to make sure she was included, but so far this particular teacher seems to be struggling with the idea of truly accepting Melody into the group… and if he can’t show acceptance, then how can he expect the students to accept Melody as a part of the team?

–Michelle Hughes


7 thoughts on “Chapters 28 and 29

  1. Kathleen Russell says:

    I felt so sad for Melody when the flight was cancelled and she missed the earlier flight. My first thought was that it was done on purpose. But then I wondered, how could an adult allow children to be so callous.
    Melody is so loved by her family & Ms. They all feel her pain & frustration & do what they can to make that pain go away.

  2. Lindsey Ludwig says:

    The mama bear in me just wants to let Melody’s teacher and teammates have it! It’s hard to believe that they didn’t purposefully leave her. Michelle, I totally agree that this teacher has not been a good models for his students when it comes to accepting and interacting with their differently-abled peer. I think that we, as SLP’s need to always be advocates for out students and their inclusion in events throughout the school and in other environments outside of school. I know that at my school, we frequently try to encourage parents to have their kids participate in extracurricular activities and we’ve also always lobbied for them to be included in school celebrations, plays, etc.

  3. Karen L Reynolds says:

    I was crushed to find out that Melody wasn’t included in being told their flight was cancelled. It was done on purpose without taking into consideration Melody’s feelings, at all. There was nothing to take her hurt away. Inclusion means being included. Melody was blatantly excluded. One step forward and two steps back.

  4. Jecel Goyala says:

    Almost greater than her excitement for the trip is Melody’s excitement at being a member of the team and getting to ride on an airplane with her friend, all things that make her feel more like a “normal” girl.

    Melody’s family hopes that Melody was left behind by accident, but whether or not it was accidental, Melody understands that she was not respected enough as a member of her Whiz Kids team for them to make an effort to guarantee she’d be at the competition.

    It was really a crushing moment, indeed.

  5. Pam Schmit says:

    We have fought for inclusion for our handicapped students for so many years. And it seems like everybody should have the message in this age of ‘Put your preference here’ matters” and all the other ways people try to advocate. We cannot take for granted that the laws will be followed and everyone will be “included.” Today I was informed that a student who receives speech as a related service was being observed so the teacher gave him work. Otherwise, he is not given work. He does what keeps him quiet in the regular ed classroom. He is not given a chance to do the work the other students do. In my own school.
    Makes me furious.

  6. Aimee Burton says:

    When Melody was left behind, it made me think of all the times I have seen our students with special needs being left out of activities at school. There seems to be a notion among some that some of our students with special needs can’t enjoy activities the way typically developing kids do and it makes me so angry! It blows my mind that it’s 2019 and inclusion is still a problem. When kids get left out of assemblies, special presentations, grade level field trips, and celebrations, it just furthers the divide between general ed and special ed and even 12 years later, I’m still at a loss as to how to get people to understand that especially since anytime I have brought it to someone’s attention, I am told to “stay in my lane”. So frustrating!

    • Dala Sparks says:

      I see how hard teachers work to care for students with significant physical disabilities. Leaving Melody behind certainly seems like “the easy way out” for her teacher – and kids will be kids, they just follow along where the teacher leads. May we, as educators, set the example of inclusion for all of our students as well as other teachers.

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