Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. Fish In A Tree. 5 hours, 44 minutes. Listening Library. 2015, $35.00, ISBN 9781101890684. Downloaded from Audible
Every now and then a book comes along that stays with you, that moves you, that you never want to end. A book that makes you laugh, makes you cry and has characters in it that you can relate to, seeing not only yourself, but your classmates too. Fish in a Tree is one of those books.
Ally can't read and she has done an excellent job of hiding it from all the adults in her world. The kids at school however are a different story, they have figured it out. Some are just plain cruel, teasing her relentlessness about being "stupid" and trying to get her to read things that they know she can't. Unfortunately, Ally also believes that she is "stupid." She purposefully misbehaves so that she will be sent to the Principal's office and feigns illness all to avoid reading. How Ally sees and feels about herself slowly begins to change when her sixth grade teacher goes out on maternity leave and Mr. Daniels takes over. Mr. Daniels is phenomenal. He sees Ally's strengths, highlights them and gets to the root of her learning difference. He sees Ally in a positive way, which is not how Ally has been seen by teachers in the past. As Ally's perception of herself slowly changes, she starts to open up to others in the class and true friendships develop with Keisha and Arthur.
Kathleen McInerney does an amazing job narrating this story. You can truly feel Ally's struggle and pain in her voice. Her vocalization of Shay, a bully who is mean to Ally every opportunity she can be, is the proper amount of snark and bitchiness.
Favorite Chapter Title: The Gifts of No Excuses, Scotch Tape and Antibiotics
Bonuses: Don't bypass the Author's Note at the end of the book. For even more information about the inspiration behind Mr. Daniels, listen to a wonderful interview with Lynda Mullaly Hunt on the Let's Get Busy Podcast.
I realize that many have had a brutal Winter, full of freezing temperatures and snow. Thankfully, we don't have that type of weather here and I had a chance to see this gorgeous sunrise off of Lanikai as I was #WalkingandListening.