Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly HuntFish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish In A Tree

byLynda Mullaly Hunt

Paperback | March 28, 2017

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"Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” —Kirkus Reviews

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.

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. This paperback edition includes The Sketchbook of Impossible Things and discussion questions.

New York Times Bestseller! 

* “Unforgettable and uplifting.”School Library Connectionstarred review

* "Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”Bookliststarred review

* “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control." School Library Journal, starred review 
Lynda Mullaly Hunt (www.lyndamullalyhunt.com) has received many honors for her debut novel, One for the Murphys, which is on over twenty state award lists, including Bank Street’s 2013 Best Books of the Year. She’s a former teacher, and holds writers retreats for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Con...
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Title:Fish In A TreeFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 7.75 × 5.06 × 0.78 inShipping dimensions:7.75 × 5.06 × 0.78 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142426423

ISBN - 13:9780142426425

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Book Is Amazing! This book is a beautiful story of a girl with dyslexia learning that learning differently is okay and never a bad thing. Lynda has done it again! Appropriate for anyone from fourth grade and up depending on reading skill.
Date published: 2019-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Be True to Yourself Sixth-grader Ally has lived a transient life, moving from house to house and school to school, never really finding a chance to make friends or fit in anywhere. Not wanting to appear different she has become an expert at hiding her true self—most importantly, the fact that she struggles to read. Instead of the funny, caring, imaginative artist that she is deep down, she is seen by her teachers and classmates as a trouble-maker. It isn’t until a new teacher arrives who recognizes the individual strengths of each student that the real Ally begins to emerge. Filled with a wide range of colourful characters, Fish in a Tree is a heartwarming story of hope, friendship, acceptance, and most importantly, finding the confidence to be true to yourself.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read aloud for the classroom! This book leads to rich discussions about how everyone learns differently and has their strengths and weaknesses. Students will learn about dyslexia and how sometimes their peers may be struggling and how they can be supportive and helpful. It's a wonderful book that I have read to my classes multiple times and plan to continue doing so. It will inspire teachers to bring out the best in their students.Lots of learning opportunities.
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great classroom read aloud Gr. 6 This is one of the best read-alouds I've done with my Grade 6s. It's even more appropriate and heartwrenching now that I teach language classes with students with learning disabilities. They can relate to Ally and we've had some great conversations. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2018-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read! I bought this book for my son who loves reading and is 12 years old. He really enjoyed it ,easy to read and great story!
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book! This is a story about an 11-year-old dyslexic girl named Ally who struggles to read and write but hides it from everyone. A new teacher, Mr. Daniels, helps her overcome her struggles. I LOVED IT!
Date published: 2018-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT read I read this book outloud to my sons who are 9 and 11 and they really enjoyed it. Good life lessons about kindness, bullying, friendship, and perseverance.
Date published: 2018-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! I read this novel to my grade 5 students and they loved it. They were able to relate to the characters and formed attachment to the main character. Great read!
Date published: 2018-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! As a teacher, I am always looking for a book to read with my students that they can share and connect with. This book has something in it for everyone and is a must read. A good compliment to Wonder and helping kids to "stand out" rather than "fit in". A definite must read!
Date published: 2018-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Success A great read for children. Talks about growth and success.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read This book is a fantastic addition to my classroom where we consistently talk about having a growth mindset.
Date published: 2018-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best books this book is so good you will fall in love with the characters my favorite was keisha
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very good book I am always looking for new books for my daughter to read and came across this one and she absolutely loved it
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very inspirational A beautifully written story suitable for all ages. I very much enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2018-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from SO much Love So story time. I bought this book for my niece not expecting much of it. I Always read the books I get her before I give them to her so we can discuss the characters and plot and what not. Anyhow. This book made me tear up a bit because I related to the main character so much. I found out in college that I have Irlens Syndrome which is often misdiagnosed as dyslexia. How the author portrays the children and the teacher in this story is very beautiful.
Date published: 2018-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing An inspirational read for parents and kids alike..............especially those who feel 'different' and just want to be accepted for who they are.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Fish In A Tree tells the story of a young girl who can't make the words and letters stay in place and always feels out of her depth in school because of that. Some of her classmates make fun of her and she is convinced that is really, truly stupid. Until a new teacher comes to school and makes her realize that her brain simply works differently and that many of the most brilliant minds ever had dyslexia, just like her. To be honest, this book was an unexpected gem for me. I liked the cover and I was in for some new books from NetGalley, but I didn't think it would be awesome, I expected a pleasant enough read at most. Turned out it was quite the amazing book after all.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Fish In A Tree tells the story of a young girl who can't make the words and letters stay in place and always feels out of her depth in school because of that. Some of her classmates make fun of her and she is convinced that is really, truly stupid. Until a new teacher comes to school and makes her realize that her brain simply works differently and that many of the most brilliant minds ever had dyslexia, just like her. To be honest, this book was an unexpected gem for me. I liked the cover and I was in for some new books from NetGalley, but I didn't think it would be awesome, I expected a pleasant enough read at most. Turned out it was quite the amazing book after all.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I loved this book so much! I recommend this to anyone who has a hard time at school... so inspiring!
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Its okay Not the best read but still entertaining
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Thought it was pretty good but not spectacular
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational! A must read for every child and teacher. It highlights what one can accomplish if encouraged and supported.
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! #plumreview This book is beautifully written. As someone that has Dyslexia I felt like I was reading about my own life. Amazing story and beautiful characters,.
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Read this to my grade 5/6 students and they loved it! Great book to read after you read the book, "Wonder."
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Loved this book so much. You will be rooting for the main character Ally as she goes through her school year while facing some struggles. This is an uplifting book with a great message. Can't wait to share it with my students.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome! My friend recommended this book and I read it. It is so great! The lesson in it is really good.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent story This is an awesome book for students who have learning disabilities to help them feel hopeful about being accepted! My students in Grade 5 loved this story.
Date published: 2016-12-26

Read from the Book

Chapter 1: In Trouble Again 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.“C’mon,” she says. “I know you can do it.”“What if I told you that I was going to climb a tree using only my lips? Would you say I could do it then?”Oliver laughs, throwing himself on his desk like it’s a fumbled football.I see the world as mind movies in my head that are silly and exaggerated. But they are private and only for me. For Oliver everything is exaggerated on the outside so everyone sees.Shay groans. “Ally, why can’t you just act normal for once?”Near her, Albert, a bulky kid who’s worn the same thing every day—a dark t-shirt that reads, Flint—sits up straight. Like he’s waiting for a firecracker to go off.Mrs. Hall sighs. “C’mon, now. I’m only asking for one page describing yourself.”I can’t think of anything worse than having to describe myself. I’d rather write about something more positive. Like throwing up at your own birthday party.“It’s important,” she says. “It’s so your new teacher can get to know you.”I know that, and it’s exactly why I don’t want to do it. Teachers are like the machines that take quarters for bouncy balls. You know what you’re going to get. Yet, you don’t know, too.I fold my arms and close my eyes. Hoping that when I open them she’ll be gone. But she’s still there.“And,” she says. “All that doodling of yours, Ally. If you weren’t drawing all the time, your work might be done. Please put it away.”Embarrassed, I slide my drawings underneath my blank writing assignment. I’ve been drawing pictures of myself being shot out of a cannon. It would be easier than school. Less painful.“C’mon,” she says moving my lined paper toward me. “Just do your best.”Seven schools in seven years and they’re all the same. Whenever I do my best, they tell me I don’t try hard enough. Too messy. Careless spelling. Annoyed that the same word is spelled different ways on the same page. And the headaches. I always get headaches from looking at the brightness of dark letters on white pages for too long.I tap my pencil, thinking about how we had to dress up as our favorite book character for Halloween last week. I came as Alice in Wonderland, from the book my grandpa read to me a ton of times. Shay and her shadow, Jessica, called me Alice in Blunderland all day.Mrs. Hall clears her throat.The rest of the class is getting tired of me again. Chairs slide. Loud sighs. Maybe they think I can’t hear their words: Freak. Dumb. Loser.I wish she’d just go hang by Albert, the walking Google page who’d get a better grade than me if he just blew his nose into the paper.The back of my neck heats up.“Oliver. Get back in your seat,” she says and I’m grateful that he draws attention away. But then she’s back to me. “Ally?”I don’t get it. She always let me slide. It must be because these are for the new teacher and she can’t have one missing.I stare at her big stomach. “So, did you decide what you were going to name the baby?” I ask. Last week we got her talking about baby names for a full half hour of social studies.“C’mon, Ally. No more stalling.”I don’t answer.“I mean it,” she says and I know she does.I watch a mind movie of her taking a stick and drawing a line in the dirt between us under a bright blue sky. She’s dressed as a sheriff and I’m wearing black and white prisoner stripes. My mind does that all the time—shows me these movies that seem so real that they carry me away inside of them. They are a relief from my real life.I steel up inside, willing myself to do something I don’t really want to do. To escape this teacher who’s holding on and won’t let go.I pick up my pencil and her body relaxes, probably relieved that I’ve given in.But, instead, knowing she loves clean desks and things just so, I grip my pencil with a hard fist. And scribble all over my desk.“Ally!” She steps forward quick. “Why would you do that?”I can tell the scribbles to her are like kryptonite to Superman. I was right. She can’t stand it.“What are you talking about? I didn’t do that,” I say pointing at the circular scribbles that are big on top and small on the bottom. It looks like a tornado and I wonder if I meant to draw a picture of my insides. I look back up at her. “It was there when I sat down.”The laughter starts—but they’re not laughing because they think I’m funny.I hear Suki sigh, so I glance over at her. She turns away as we make eye contact. She’s holding one of her small wooden blocks. She has a collection of them that she keeps in a box and I see her take one out when she gets nervous. She’s nervous now.“I can tell that you’re upset, Ally,” Mrs. Hall says.I am not hiding that as well as I need to.“She’s such a freak,” Shay says in one of those loud whispers that everyone is meant to hear.Oliver is drumming on his desk now. Suki sighs again.“That’s it,” Mrs. Hall finally says. “To the office. Now.”I wanted this but now I am having second thoughts.“Ally.”“Huh?”Everyone laughs again. She puts up her hand. “Anyone else who makes a sound gives up their recess.” The room is quiet.“Ally. I said to the office.”I can’t go see our principal, Mrs. Silver, again. In the two months I was in this school last year, I was in her office so much I thought they were going to hang up a banner that said, “Welcome, Ally!”I’m lucky Mrs. Hall is such a pushover. “I’m sorry,” I say, actually meaning it. “I’ll do my work. I promise.”She sighs. “OK Ally, but if that pencil stops moving, you’re going.”She moves me to the reading table next to a Thanksgiving bulletin board about being grateful. Meanwhile, she sprays my desk with cleaner. Glancing at me like she’d like to spray me with cleaner. Scrub off the dumb.I squint a bit hoping the lights will hurt my head less. And then I try to hold my pencil the way she wants instead of the weird way my hand wants to.I write with one hand and shield my paper with the other. I know I better keep the pencil moving, so I write the word, “Why?” over and over from the top of the page to the very bottom.One, because I know how to spell it right and, two, because I’m hoping someone will finally give me an answer.

Editorial Reviews

* “Unforgettable and uplifting. . . . Deals with the hardships of middle school in a funny, yet realistic and thoughtful manner. Ally has a great voice, she is an unforgettable, plucky protagonist that the reader roots for from page one. This novel is a must-have.”—School Library Connection, starred review* “Filled with a delightful range of quirky characters and told with heart, the story also explores themes of family, friendship, and courage in its many forms. . . . It has something to offer for a wide-ranging audience. . . . Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”—Booklist, starred review * “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control. . . . Ally’s raw pain and depression are vividly rendered, while the diverse supporting cast feels fully developed. . . . Mr. Daniels is an inspirational educator whose warmth radiates off the page. Best of all, Mullaly Hunt eschews the unrealistic feel-good ending for one with hard work and small changes. Ally’s journey is heartwarming but refreshingly devoid of schmaltz.”—School Library Journal, starred review “[Hunt’s] depiction of Ally’s learning struggles is relatable, and Ally’s growth and relationships feel organic and real.”—Publishers Weekly “Poignant. . . . Emphasis on ‘thinking outside the box’ . . . Ally’s new friendships are satisfying, as are the recognition of her dyslexia and her renewed determination to read. Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.”—Kirkus Reviews   “Reminiscent of Polacco’s wonderful Thank You, Mr. Falker. . . . Ally’s feeling of loneliness and desire to fit in will resonate with young teen readers, as many share those feelings without the difficulty of dyslexia. . . . A tribute to teachers who go the extra mile to reach every student. . . . A touching story with an important message.”—Voice of Youth Advocates  “Entertaining dialogue . . . Ally’s descriptions of her ‘mind movies’ are creative and witty. . . . The treatment of a group of sixth-graders with various quirks who face down their bullies extends the book’s interest beyond the immediate focus on dyslexia.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books “Readers will . . . cheer for this likable girl.”—The Horn Book