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Fish in a Tree DGS REP Edition
Contributor(s): Hunt, Lynda Mullaly
ISBN: 0142426423     ISBN-13: 9780142426425
Publisher: Puffin
    OUR PRICE: $8.10  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: March 2017
Annotation: Hiding the truth about her inability to read from a highly motivated new teacher, Ally eventually discovers that her dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of and gains new confidence as she finds alternative ways to learn. By the award-winning author of One for the Murphys. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dyslexia; Fiction.
Reading; Fiction.
Behavior; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Special Needs
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017011847
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.00" W x 0.75" (0.55 lbs) 274 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 172804
Reading Level: 3.7   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 7.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q65768
Reading Level: 3.2   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 13.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Lynda Mullaly Hunt ( 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 Connecticut with her husband, two children, impetuous beagle, and beagle-loathing cat.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Fall)
When her teacher goes on maternity leave, sixth grader Ally humiliates herself by giving Mrs. Hall a sympathy card. No one had discovered--until now--that Ally cannot read. When substitute teacher Mr. Daniels arrives, things begin to change. Well-developed secondary characters (mean girls, a new BFF who sticks up for herself and others, the heroic teacher) add richness to the story and help Ally grow.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2015 #2)
Ally Nickerson may be well spoken and have a great sense of humor, but something is not right. Why is this sixth grader spending so much time in the principal's office? Why is she doing such impulsive and destructive things? Why do the mean girls, Shay and Jessica, continually torment her? It's not just that she is a new girl in school, though attending seven schools in seven years has taken its toll. There is something else. When her teacher goes on maternity leave, Ally humiliates herself by giving Mrs. Hall a sympathy card rather than the expected baby card. She is not trying to be cruel; she simply cannot read, and for some reason, no one has discovered this until now. When substitute teacher Mr. Daniels arrives, with his new instructional techniques and his love for his "Fantasticos" (i.e., students), Ally knows things are going to change. This has all the required parts of a school story: the mean girls, the quirky but lovable boys, the new BFF who sticks up for herself and others, and the heroic teacher. These secondary characters add richness to the story and help Ally, who is telling her own tale in the first person, to grow as a learner and person. While the resolution to Ally's struggles with reading and social acceptance happens too quickly, readers will nevertheless cheer for this likable girl. robin smit Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 December #1)

Sixth-grader Ally Nickerson has been to seven schools in seven years, and the same thing happens at each one: she spends more time in the principal's office than in class. The pattern is repeating at Ally's current school until a long-term substitute teacher, Mr. Daniels, discovers that Ally is acting out to hide the fact that she can't read. Ally is deeply ashamed and has bought into what others have told her—that she's dumb and worthless—but Mr. Daniels helps her understand that she has dyslexia and see her talents and intelligence. As Ally's fragile confidence grows, she connects with two other classroom outsiders, Albert and Keisha. Hunt (One for the Murphys) leans heavily on familiar types (a two-dimensional mean-girl and her sycophantic best friend, a teacher with unconventional methods) and a surfeit of relevant metaphors (coins valuable because of their flaws, former planet Pluto—"Too small. Too far away. Orbit not just right"—and so on). Nevertheless, her depiction of Ally's learning struggles is relatable, and Ally's growth and relationships feel organic and real. Ages 10–up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2015 January)

Gr 4–6—In her second middle grade novel (One for the Murphys, 2012), Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control. Ally is great at math, and her ability to visualize moving pictures makes her an amazing artist, but she has a terrible secret: reading is almost impossible for her. By using her wits and adopting a troublemaking persona, she's been able to avoid anyone finding out a truth she is deeply ashamed of, but a new teacher at school seems to see right through the defenses she's built. While Ally struggles to accept the help that Mr. Daniels offers, she also deals with a father deployed in the Middle East, crushing loneliness, and an authentically awful set of mean girls at school. Ally's raw pain and depression are vividly rendered, while the diverse supporting cast feels fully developed. As the perceptive teacher who finally offers the diagnosis of dyslexia, 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.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT

[Page 95]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.