Friday, February 3, 2017

A Fish in a Tree?

“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.” ~Fish in a Tree

Ally is in sixth grade and has moved from school to school. Up until this point she has been smart enough to fool almost everybody she meets. Of course this also involves getting in a lot of trouble, but it's worth it, or so she thinks, to save face. Everything changes when she gets a new substitute teacher Mr. Daniels, who refuses to send Ally to the principal like her other teachers did. He seems to believe in her and makes her want to read and do better in all of her subjects. But she just can't understand the words she sees on the pages of her books and papers! It doesn’t help that there is a group of girls who seem out to get Ally and they make fun of her whenever they can. When Mr. Daniels offers to work with Ally after school, it isn’t long before he thinks he’s discovered why she's been having such a hard time learning to read and write, even though she is very smart and good at figuring out puzzles. Will Ally be able to catch up with the work? What about the girls that are mean to her? Is it possible to ignore their taunts? Read this heartwarming story to find out more.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a book I have wanted to read since I first heard the title and saw the cover. My heart went out to Ally because I know what it's like to be a struggling reader. I liked getting to know some of the kids in her class. Ally was kind to everyone, even the people that weren't nice to her. I kept wishing she would ask for help instead of getting in trouble all the time, so I was glad when a teacher came who wouldn't let her continue that cycle. This book will inspire teachers to help kids who need extra practice and may be seeking out attention as a way to distract from that fact. The title of the book is fitting because all creatures have special things they are good at, as well as areas that are hard or impossible for them (a fish climbing a tree). Ally judges herself for not being able to read like everyone else, but she has reasons that make it hard for her to decipher words. I recommend this book to people in fourth grade and up who like realistic stories that make them feel good. 

Has anyone else read Fish in a Tree? Or have you read another book by Lynda Mullaly Hunt? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading!
~L

39 comments:

  1. I think that's part of human nature - most try to cover up shortcomings rather than ask for help.

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    1. I'm going to piggy back on Alex. For whatever reason, I couldn't leave a comment at the bottom.
      This sounds like a wonderful book that would tug at heart strings.

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    2. Alex- Very true! :) ~L

      Sandra- Sorry you had trouble leaving a comment! It is a book that will definitely tug at your heart. :) ~L

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  2. I’m sure lots of kids will enjoy reading this. I know I would and have just added it to my list of books I want to read.

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    1. Barbara- I think kids will really enjoy it and you will too! :) ~L

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  3. Yep, great lesson indeed, as we each have strengths and weaknesses

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  4. I haven't read the book, but it should appeal to young people that have similar problems and perhaps help them find their own solution. This would make a great addition to school libraries and classrooms.

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    1. Beverly- I completely agree with you! This is a book that will hopefully help some kids and it would make a great addition to classrooms and school libraries. :) ~L

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  5. Sounds like a cute story; glad the teacher saw the potential in her and was willing to work with her!

    betty

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    1. Betty- I was so glad her teacher saw the potential in her too! :) ~L

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  6. This is such a sweet book. I just love it. How nice to see the word still being spread. Thanks for the nice reminder.

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    1. Rosi- So glad to hear you love this one too! Glad it came to my attention. :) ~L

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  7. Hi DMS - great book by the sound of it ... and will teach so many how to overcome hurdles ... love the sound of it - and as Beverly says a great addition for school libraries and classrooms ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- So happy you enjoyed the review. Fish in a Tree is definitely a great book! :) ~L

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  8. It sounds like Ally has dyslexia. Thank goodness most parents and teachers know what it is now so it can be easily identified and there's no stigma for the children -- they just get the help they need.

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    1. Lexa- You are right! It is wonderful to see how quickly dyslexia is identified in schools and I am so happy that there are strategies in place to help kids overcome the obstacles in their path. :) ~L

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  9. I didn't read it but the title itself sounds intriguing:)

    Hugs!:))

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  10. Those are the kids who make teaching magical! Finding the secrets to the way they learn is such joy!

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    1. Jemi- Spoken like a truly amazing teacher! Thanks for all you do. :) ~L

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  11. very cute and interesting story, maybe I should take a look at this book too ! thanks for the good review !

    I really appreciate your comment to my last post !!! made my daaaay hehe

    New Post - 90's Back to school

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    Stay Gold

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    1. Suvarna Gold- So glad this sounds like an interesting book to you and that you enjoyed the review.

      Also, glad my comment on you blog made your day! :)

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  12. Isn't this a great book!? I also listened to the well-done audio version. I've enjoyed both of Lynda's books and I'm really looking forward to her next one. Nice review!

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    1. Marcia- Yay! You loved this one too! Aren't audio books awesome! I am looking forward to Lynda's next book too. :) ~L

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  13. I haven't read this one myself, but I have heard a lot about it which makes me want to read it as well. It must have been really special for you as well, because you could relate to Ally's struggle. But yes, everyone has different talents and ways of managing things, and it's good that people can recognise and understand that.

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    1. Olivia-Savannah- I am glad to hear you have heard a lot about this one. It is definitely a book that makes you think that we all have our strengths and things we need to work at. :) ~L

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful book! Touched my heart, from what you wrote!

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    1. Magic Love Crow- It is a wonderful book! So happy the review touched your heart. :) ~L

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  15. I love that quote: “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.” ~Fish in a Tree. It's so true, we need to remember that.

    I like the premise to this book, it sounds interesting... the taunting by children really bothers me, how I wish they would figure out another way to deal with stress xox

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    1. Launna- I didn't like the taunting either, but it is definitely realistic. Hopefully the more we learn, the more we understand people and that our differences should be celebrated. :) ~L

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  16. This sounds wonderful and like one that will pull at your heartstrings! Thank you for the awesome review and for putting this book on our radar :)

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    1. A Belle's Tales- It definitely pulls at the heartstrings. Glad to put this one on your radar. :) ~L

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  17. I definitely need to find this. I like books like this. :)

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    1. Erik- I think you will really enjoy it. :)

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