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Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
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Fish in a Tree (2015)

by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Summary: Ally has never been able to read well, but she tries her hardest. Hit with the loss of her grandpa, her dad being on tour with the military, and her mom working long hours at the diner, Ally has support, but it is minimal. Luckily for her, a new long-term substitute- Mr. Daniels- takes particular interest in Ally's reading and writing struggles, and with his support, she eventually is able to read and write!

Review: This is good realistic fiction for older students. Students are now seeing many differences and struggles with their classmates, and so it is relatable. The classroom dynamic is also relatable. Many students struggle with dyslexia, and so this is a very realistic possibility as well.
  ebrink15 | Nov 19, 2017 |
I could not, for the life of me, get into this book! It maybe was just a bad time to try. I did try though. I tried very very very hard. I listened to the audiobook- which I do most of the time and have no problems- but my mind just kept on wandering.
I had a girl at the library tell me that her teacher read it to her though and she absolutely loved it.
It's probably a really really great book. Maybe I'll have to try again at a time in my life when my kids are a little older and I can relate more to the characters, or when I know someone who has dyslexia. ??
Don't let my review stop you from reading it. ( )
  mollypitchermary | Oct 11, 2017 |
Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control. Ally is great at math, and her ability to visualize moving pictures makes her an amazing artist, but she has a terrible secret: reading is almost impossible for her. By using her wits and adopting a troublemaking persona, she's been able to avoid anyone finding out a truth she is deeply ashamed of, but a new teacher at school seems to see right through the defenses she's built. While Ally struggles to accept the help that Mr. Daniels offers, she also deals with a father deployed in the Middle East, crushing loneliness, and an authentically awful set of mean girls at school. Ally's raw pain and depression are vividly rendered, while the diverse supporting cast feels fully developed. As the perceptive teacher who finally offers the diagnosis of dyslexia, Mr. Daniels is an inspirational educator whose warmth radiates off the page. ( )
  LynneQuan | Oct 1, 2017 |
This novel is about a young girl dealing with the struggles of a learning disability. She is different from everyone else, she cannot read like the rest of her class. Because of this, it leads to bullying and the protagonist feeling lonely and like an outcast. Throughout the novel she is creating new bonds with friends and learning about her disability. It is about how she goes about dealing with her struggles and how having supportive friends and teacher make dealing with her learning disability less lonely. This book also shows the readers that friendship is extremely important and that friends are great to help support you when you are down or to help with bullies. It also shows that it is okay to be different from everyone else. ( )
  S.Hackett | Aug 24, 2017 |
I liked the premise of this book a lot, but I think I would have liked it a lot more if I'd read it rather than listened to the audiobook. The audiobook was fine, but sometimes it made the characters seem more like caricatures of people rather than fully developed characters. There were just some moments when their dialogue didn't seem like what a kid would actually say. That said, it's still definitely a book worth reading. Great underdog story about learning to believe in yourself and not let other people's opinions (or what you THINK other people's opinions are) have an impact on how you see yourself.
  sw502 | Aug 12, 2017 |
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For teachers...who see the child before the student, who remind us that we all have special gifts to offer the world, who foster the importance of standing out rather than fitting in.  And for the kids...who find their grit to conquer life's challenges--no matter what those challenges may be.  You are heroes.  This book is for you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399162593, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:22 -0400)

"Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read"--

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