Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Ally has lived her whole life thinking she is dumb. She can’t read or write, but nobody knows. And frankly, nobody seems to care. That is until Mr. Daniels. Mr. Daniels is different from any teacher she’s ever had. He genuinely cares about his students and makes a special effort to help those who are struggling, without ever making a scene about it. With his help, she is diagnosed with dyslexia and he starts helping her learn to read after school. The safe environment he creates in the classroom, as well as the support he offers, helps Ally realize that she is not in fact dumb, but that her whole life, she’d been a fish, that everybody had been trying to make climb a tree.
Real and inspiring, Fish in a Tree tells a story of hope for those that struggle with dyslexia or other learning differences. Too often people who learn differently are treated as stupid or incapable, preventing them from progressing and reaching their full potential. But with the proper support and belief in their potential, children who have learning differences can prove to be successful. This story shows how one girl’s life was changed with the help of a caring teacher. The characters in this story are lovable and well-developed and have you rooting for their success. Addressing themes of bullying, caring, and learning differences, this book is set up to inspire and uplift those who pick it up to read. A beautiful must-read.