Fish In a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

Summary: (266 pages)  Ally has made it all the way to all the way to sixth grade without learning to read.  Her father’s in the military, and she’s gone to seven schools in her life, too many for teachers to figure out that she has dyslexia.  School is a nightmare for her, and the kids tease her for being dumb.  When her teacher goes out on maternity leave, Ally’s nervous about the substitute, Mr. Daniels.  But he turns out to be an amazing teacher, able to see the gifts that each kid contributes.  He draws Ally into the class and actually thinks she’s smart and artistically talented.  Will he be able to get her the help she needs to make it in school?

Pros:  Ally’s a great kid, and you will cheer her on with every hard-won success.  The story is fast-paced and engaging, with a whole host of interesting characters.

Cons:  The characters sometimes seemed one-dimensional and like stereotypes.  The mean girl.  The quiet, scientific boy who gets picked on.  The amazing teacher who is able to finally help Ally.  Too many events in the story were predictable.

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