I always have an incredibly hard time picking up the second book of an author whose first book I have loved so much. Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s first book One For the Murphy’s is on my top ten list of best books I have ever read. For those of you who did the Global Read Aloud, you know exactly what I mean; the emotions wrapped up in this powerhouse of a book are not to be denied. So when I received an ARC of Lynda’s new book (best gift ever!), I was scared. I know she is in an incredible writer, but was there any way that this book could live up to her phenomenal first?
The short answer is yes! The long answer is even more yes! She has done it again. Fish In a Tree is one of those books you don’t want to put down. You are sucked into Ally’s story and the emotional connection you make with her, Keisha, and Albert cannot be denied. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think of the incredible connections and conversations this book would spark. How so many of my students would find themselves within the pages, how so many of my students would find hope within the story. Do I need to even state the obvious; this book is a contender for Global Read Aloud 2015.
Bottomline: An incredible story from 4th grade an up, should be a must read in any classroom library.
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.