25 March 2015
Fish in a Tree
Hunt, Lynda, Fish in a Tree. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015.
Ally has changed schools a lot, and every time she gets to a new school, she uses bad behavior to cover up the fact that she cannot read easily. She mouths off to teachers and spends more time in the principal's office than the principal herself does. Ally is really good at math, but her reading difficulties have caused her grades to plummet, while her mom assures her that she would do better if she just tried harder. Ally has tried and tried; how hard is hard enough?
I loved this book. I love the description of dyslexia from the perspective of the person struggling with it. I loved Ally's substitute teacher and his willingness to help all of his students, even to the point of staying after school to help Ally while waiting for her IEP to kick in. The addition of Ally's brother as a character / role model for Ally was great. Not only would this book be an excellent addition to a public or school library, it should be on the to-read shelf for every teacher as a reminder that sometimes bad behavior doesn't mean the student is trying to be bad; sometimes it's a cry for help.
Recommended for: middle grade, educators and those who work with children
Red Flags: Ally is teased quite a bit by her classmates and called dumb (the "r" word is never used)
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, El Deafo, Absolutely Almost, Rain Reign