Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt - ADVISABLE

Hunt, Lynda Mullaly Fish in a Tree, 272 pgs, Penguin, 2015. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG. 

Ally is in the 6th grade.  She’s smart; she can do math in her head and she has good ideas but she can’t seem to read.  The words just swim around in front of her eyes.  Trying to survive in school without being able to read is very difficult, she gets in trouble a lot and is bullied and called a dummy.  But when a new teacher takes over while her regular teacher is on maternity leave, Ally discovers that there is someone who understands and who can help.  She’s not dumb, she just thinks differently, and had a learning disability called dyslexia.  

This Schneider award winner is engaging and hopeful.  The mean girls are a little over the top, the bullying predictable, but Ally’s friends are strong and resilient.  Set in an elementary school, I think the characters may seem young for the middle school crowd, but this is an interesting perspective.  

EL, MS ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

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