Fish in a Tree

Finished Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

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.”

I absolutely loved this book.  It’s clever and heartbreaking and shows just how much a great teacher can change your life.

Ally sees herself as dumb because she can’t read or write very well.  (But she doesn’t realize how talented she is in other areas or just how smart you have to be in order to convince the entire world, pretty much, that you can read when you can’t.)

And then her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, takes over the classroom and he sees everything that Ally is trying to keep hidden. And best of all, he figures out how to help her without making it obvious that she needs help.

This book is absolutely charming.

Highly recommended.

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