9780399162596Title: Fish in a Tree

Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Publisher: New York: Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), 2015

Genre: Middle Grade fiction

Audience Age: 9 to 12 years

Themes/topics: fitting in, self-acceptance, learning to read at a later age

Opening Sentences:

It’s always there. Like the ground underneath my feet.

“Well, Ally? Are you going to write or aren’t you?” Mrs. Hall asks.

If my teacher were mean it would be easier.

Synopsis: Ally has moved from school to school, always managing to hide the fact that she can’t read, although she has often been mislabeled slow and uncooperative. She’s seen as a troublemaker, but that’s just a smokescreen to hide the real problem.

Through all her struggles, she finds expression in her Sketchbook of Impossible Things – art comes far more easily to her than does reading words that jiggle before her eyes, dancing all over the paper.

When a substitute teacher arrives in her sixth grade class, she discovers she can’t hide any more – he discovers her dyslexia, and is willing to help her, but is she willing to do what it takes to overcome the differences that make her feel like a fish in a tree?

The amazing book trailer will hook you, for sure.

For Further Enrichment: There is a ton of amazing resources at the author’s website, including a look at Ally’s Sketchbook of Impossible Things, as well as information about dyslexia, a teacher’s guide, and more.

Availability: Readily available. Check with the independent bookstore of your choice, locally or online.

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