Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Rating: 3 out of 5 Magical Coffee Cups
“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.
This book is a Caudill Nominee for 2017 (an Illinois children’s book award), and I thought I should get a head start on reading these nominees because my library always has a book talk about them at the start of the year.
This book is super sweet and fluffy. I liked it but I am not sure students past 6th grade will be too interested. I liked the characters. The book itself made me smile, laugh, and even made me sad at times for what poor Ally was going through. I think having the book from Ally’s point of view really helped in understanding her frustrations. I liked being able to know what was going on in her head when she didn’t answer a teachers question. She wasn’t trying to be insubordinate.
“I want to give him an answer, but I have both too many words and not enough”
Albert. I just have to mention this character. I loved this character. He is in Ally’s class and we get to know him pretty well. He is like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory but he doesn’t insult people, he just knows A LOT. Well, he might insult someone but it was deserving in my opinion. He has all these random facts that he is constantly spitting out and I love them all. I am the type of person who watches shows like Mysteries at the Museum (if you like history this is a show to look out for), because I LOVE the stories. I have often used what I learned from this show as a conversation starter.
Overall it is a sweet story that will put a smile on your face.