Hunt, Lynda Mullaly.
FISH IN A TREE
New York : Nancy Paulsen, 2015
IL 5-8, RL 4.2
Ally demonstrates unique brightness and interesting drawing capabilities as she doodles in her “Sketchbook of Impossible Things,” but at other times her good intentions lead to disastrous consequences, all because she cannot tell the absolute truth, not to her principal, not to her teacher, not to her Mom, not to her friends. Ally still cannot read, no matter how hard she tries. And she does try, but reading for Ally is “still like trying to make sense of a can of alphabet soup that’s been dumped on a plate. She just doesn’t get how other people do it. Ally Nickerson + reading = Impossible!
To say that Ally stands out is stating the obvious, but she is not totally alone. She develops friendships with a couple of other class misfits; “Tell–it-like-it-is Keisha and science and fact obsessed Albert who wears the same “Flint” shirt to school everyday and is often seen with mysterious bruises.
In the course of their school year they get a new teacher, Mr. Daniels who sees the child first, before the student. There are heroes in this book and they are not only the adults.
This book is a “Silver Dollar” read.
The Fish in a Tree title comes from a quote often misappropriated to Albert Einstein;
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
truth of a quote has nothing to do with who it came from,
but it would be fine and fitting had it been Einstein.
Fencil, NH Great
Stone Face Committee)
Ally is clever and creative, but she is also hiding her inability to read by being disruptive in class. After being sent to the principal’s office more times than she can count, Ally believes she is dumb. However, a new substitute teacher recognizes that Ally is dyslexic and helps her gain confidence in her abilities. She learns that there is a lot more to everyone than what they show on the outside. (Garden State Children's Book Awards, 2018)
Reading -- Fiction.
Behavior -- Fiction.
Schools -- Fiction.