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Monday, August 27, 2018

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a TreeSixth grade Ally Nickerson struggles in school.  It doesn't help that her family has had to move around quite a bit because of her dad being in the military.  Ally's teachers and principal doesn't think she tries hard enough but in truth, she struggles with reading and writing.  Her teacher goes on maternity leave and Mr. Daniels takes over the classroom.  The classroom environment changes quickly.  Ally has always felt that she was not smart, but Mr. Daniels begins to highlight her strengths.  She also notices how he has a special signal for one of the students which helps him control his outbursts.  Mr. Daniels is the first adult in Ally's life to realize she may have a learning disability called dyslexia.  There is also some bullying going on and he works to put an end to that as well.

I really enjoyed this story but I was frustrated that her teachers didn't recognize her struggles and look further into it.  Her family was overwhelmed with dad being in the military, her grandfather just passing away and her mom working lots of hours trying to support her family so they didn't notice how Ally was struggling.   I loved the relationship Ally had with her older brother.  This book is a 2019 Bluestem Nominee.  If you liked this story, you may like Linda Mullaly Hunt's other book, One For the Murphys, a 2015 Caudill Nominee.

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