I have spotted young people reading Lynda Mullaly Hunt's "Fish In a Tree," with great interest, so I knew it had to be good. It did not disappoint. This award winning book has earned its accolades, including the Schneider Family Book Award and the SLJ Best Book 2015.
Ally struggles with school, and more specifically, reading and writing. This lands her a regular seat in the principal's office until an understanding new teacher, Mr. Daniels, comes and recognizes that Ally has dyslexia and gives her the tools to master her universe. Ally learns a lot about herself and her fellow students. As she copes with her dyslexia, she also takes a new approach in dealing with mean comments from classmate, Shay.
The jewel in the story is the description of Ally's dyslexia....how words are like butterflies on the page and just how long it takes for her to write a few paragraphs she won't be able to read the next day. The insight into what it is like to have dyslexia is intriguing, and Ally is an ally to anyone who ever felt lonely in a room full of people.
Although I must admit, Albert is my favorite character.
Even if you have no interest in dyslexia, this book is worth a read as it tells the story about people beneath the surface. In the end, Ally and the reader can find sympathy even for the mean spirited Shay.