Fish in a Tree
Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Published February 5th, 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Goodreads Summary: The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.
“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
My Review: I adore so much about this book.
Ally is so many students that I have had over the years that just needed a teacher to take the time.
Mr. Daniels is the teacher that I hope I am, that I wish I could be, that I want all teachers to be, and that I want to be friends with.
Ally’s journey is one that I hope I inspire my students to have.
Keisha is the friend I wish I’d had.
Albert is so many student in our schools that are just a bit different thus leading to a life of sorrows.
Shay shows that meanness often is because of meanness.
Travis shows that it is never too late to change a kid’s life.
So many special characters, and such a special story.
Once again, Lynda Mullaly Hunt made me cry. Well done!
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is written to be read by teachers and kids. Its home is in classrooms and libraries. Buy it, read it, and share it with some kids.
Discussion Questions: Why does Ally get in trouble so much at the beginning of the book?; What clues are given that Travis struggles with reading as well?; How does Keisha’s friendship help Ally?; Have you had a teacher like Mr. Daniels who changed your life? Tell us about him/her.
We Flagged: “Seven schools in seen years, and they’re all the same. Whenever I do my best, they tell me I don’t try hard enough. Too messy. Careless spelling. Annoyed that the same word is spelled different ways on the same page. And the headaches. I always get headaches from looking at the brightness of dark letters on white pages for too long.
Mrs. Hall clears her throat.
The rest of the class is getting tired of me again. Chairs slide. Loud sighs. Maybe they think I can’t hear their words: Freak. Dumb. Loser.” (p. 2-3)
Read This If You Loved: Bluefish by Pat Schmatz, The Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer, Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, Wonder by RJ Palacio
**Thank you to Penguin and Susan Dee for providing copies for review**