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Fish in a Tree

Review

Fish in a Tree

Ally Nickerson, the main character of FISH IN A TREE, has a big problem. However, she has become very good at keeping her problem hidden. And while people have their suspicions, it is her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, who finally uncovers the full extent of Ally’s problem: Ally can’t read. After some testing, it is confirmed that Ally has dyslexia, and, for the first time Ally feels like maybe she isn’t stupid. And with Mr. Daniels’ help, Ally begins to learn how to read.

Although Ally is definitely the star of FISH IN A TREE, Hunt provides a beautifully rendered and complete sketch of a classroom today.  Hunt represents all of the stock characters such as the nerd, the bully and the kid who can’t sit still. However, her descriptions of these characters are anything but stock; Hunt provides all of her characters with nuance. For example, Shay, the class bully, is shown being bullied by her mother after she fails to accomplish something.

Hunt provides a beautifully rendered and complete sketch of a classroom today. 

Although Ally is definitely the star of FISH IN A TREE, Hunt provides a beautifully rendered and complete sketch of a classroom today.  Hunt represents all of the stock characters such as the nerd, the bully and the kid who can’t sit still. However, her descriptions of these characters are anything but stock; Hunt provides all of her characters with nuance. For example, Shay, the class bully, is shown being bullied by her mother after she fails to accomplish something.

Mr. Daniels is the type of teacher that all children wish they had and that all teachers aspire to be. The concern he displays for Ally and her classmates is realistic, as are the steps that he takes to assist Ally.

In some ways FISH IN A TREE is predictable. As an adult reader I knew that things would turn out okay in the end. However, I became attached to the characters and wouldn’t have wanted things to turn out any differently. I believe that younger readers may not find it as predictable, but I think that they too will be hoping for a happy ending for Ally and her classmates.

Reviewed by Aimee Rogers on February 11, 2015

Fish in a Tree
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

  • Publication Date: March 28, 2017
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • ISBN-10: 0142426423
  • ISBN-13: 9780142426425