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Fish in a Tree Kindle Edition
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.
* “Filled with a delightful range of quirky characters and told with heart, the story also explores themes of family, friendship, and courage in its many forms. . . . It has something to offer for a wide-ranging audience. . . . Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
* “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control. . . . Ally’s raw pain and depression are vividly rendered, while the diverse supporting cast feels fully developed. . . . Mr. Daniels is an inspirational educator whose warmth radiates off the page. Best of all, Mullaly Hunt eschews the unrealistic feel-good ending for one with hard work and small changes. Ally’s journey is heartwarming but refreshingly devoid of schmaltz.”—School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“[Hunt’s] depiction of Ally’s learning struggles is relatable, and Ally’s growth and relationships feel organic and real.”—Publishers Weekly
“Poignant. . . . Emphasis on ‘thinking outside the box’ . . . Ally’s new friendships are satisfying, as are the recognition of her dyslexia and her renewed determination to read. Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonderwill appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.”
“Reminiscent of Polacco’s wonderful Thank You, Mr. Falker. . . . Ally’s feeling of loneliness and desire to fit in will resonate with young teen readers, as many share those feelings without the difficulty of dyslexia. . . . A tribute to teachers who go the extra mile to reach every student. . . . A touching story with an important message.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
“Entertaining dialogue . . . Ally’s descriptions of her ‘mind movies’ are creative and witty. . . . The treatment of a group of sixth-graders with various quirks who face down their bullies extends the book’s interest beyond the immediate focus on dyslexia.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers will . . . cheer for this likable girl.”
—The Horn Book
From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B00KWG61P0
- Publisher : Nancy Paulsen Books; Reprint edition (February 5, 2015)
- Publication date : February 5, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 11832 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,436 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Throughout the book, we see Ally blossom in her ability and in her confidence -- going from thinking that it's impossible for her to read and write to seeing what is possible for her. We see her relationships with her classmates change, and we see the difference that a great teacher can make for a child. There are also plenty of examples of how children treat each other in school when they're away from their parents -- good, bad, and indifferent.
Everyone can take a lesson from this story, and it should be on every parent's reading list.
Sixth grader Ally is a genius at math, and a gifted artist with an active imagination. But she also has a big secret--she has an extremely difficult time reading. Because of this, she believes herself to be a hopeless idiot, and will do anything to keep her problems under wraps, even if it means acting out in class and denying any sort of friendship with anyone. But everything changes when her class gets a new teacher--an unconventional man named Mr. Daniels who has a strong suspicion of what Ally's problem is, and he'll do anything and everything he can to help her succeed. And in doing so, Ally just might discover how smart she actually is...with a little help from some special teaching methods and a few unlikely friends.
Ally is a great protagonist who is incredibly clever and smart, and it's inspiring to see her transformation over the course of the story--going from someone who believes herself to be dumb and a hopeless cause, to a happy and confident person who recognizes the strengths both in herself and in others. And while I've never had dyslexia, I still found myself really relating to her in regards to her struggles to fit in, make friends, and her passion for art and her wandering imagination. Her classmates are also a joy to get to know, from loud and outspoken Keisha with a talent for baking, to the quiet and logically minded Albert (who is clearly on the autism spectrum and also discovers a new found strength in himself to stand up to the bullies who torture him). Only the vain and snobby popular girl, Shay, comes off as a one note bully, but thankfully, she gets a taste of poetic justice in the end.
And therein lies the book's biggest strength--to show both kids and adults the different kinds of struggles everyone faces, and how kindness and the proper support can bring out the best in anyone. This is never better exemplified than in Mr. Daniels--a quirky, kind, fun, and understanding man who's arguably the greatest teacher character I've ever come across. He understands that some people learn differently than others, and by book's end, his unconventional teaching methods have changed the minds of the teachers who once thought Ally just wasn't trying hard enough.
There's a saying that goes, "Everyone is a genius in their own way. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it'll go its whole life believing its stupid." This perfect quote (and title for the story) sums up a book that I believe every student and teacher should read, both in the lessons it teaches, and its ability to inspire anyone to keep trying, no matter how hard their own personal challenge may be.
This book ends happily with everything looking up for Ally and her friends by the end of the book. I want that happy, upbeat ending for a book for this age group. We recently read Posted together and it made us all feel down at the end. This book was a much better choice for us. My two daughters (11-years-old and 8-years-old), my husband, my mother, and I all read and enjoyed this uplifting book. I cried a couple of times reading this and so did my mother and younger daughter! I wish there were more people in the world, let alone the school system, like Mr. Daniels!
Overall, we were enriched by reading this book and we enjoyed the process.