Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

22402972I have been reading/listening to MG stories lately so this is another one that was recommended to me.

Genre: MG fiction

Stats: 288 pages, published in 2015, audio version read by Kathleen McInerney

Blurb: (from Goodreads) “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.

What I liked: It was a well-written story with good and believable dialogue and a good story overall but it had one big hurtle I had trouble getting past. Kathleen McInerney did a good job.

What I didn’t like: This is gives away part of the story, so if you don’t want it to be spoiled, don’t read farther. The big thing I couldn’t get past was the fact that Ally was in 6th grade and her parents or any of her teachers up to this point missed that she had dyslexia. I know teachers, so this is highly unlikely. Hunt tried to make this work by having a mostly absent father (in the military) and a mom who was very busy and that the family moved a lot (because of the military father) but it still doesn’t work for me. Especially since the older brother ends up having the same problem. Yes, there are parents that don’t participate in a child’s life but all those teachers up to 6th grade? – I really doubt it. The teacher that did discover her issue was a little too odd for me, as well – his pet names for the students…, but that’s just me.

Rating: 3.5/5




3 comments on “Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

  1. Very insightful critique, Christine. I agree, in this day and age, dyslexia is something that would be picked up in the testing that kids get in their early years.

    How’s your book coming?

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