Fish in a Tree

fishinatreeWritten by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Wow, what a great book. “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.” Fish in a Tree is about a girl with a learning problem, but she successfully hides it from everyone until 6th grade when she gets a teacher who decides to really help her. This book is told from Ally’s point of view and it gives a marvelous insight to the fact that kids can be really intelligent in some subjects and just not have the keys necessary to read. In Ally’s case, she has moved a lot and has learned how to go to the nurse or the principal’s office if she has to read or write. Through the year she learns a lot about herself and others around her. It is fun to learn and see, through her eyes, how she sees the world. A great book for 4th grade and up and would be a marvelous read aloud. At the end of each chapter is a little learning moment that could lead to a lot of really good discussions.

Review by Sara Justet, Carl Sandburg Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-6

Author Website:

Fish in a Tree
Written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Nancy Paulsen Books
288 pages
Release Date: February 5, 2015

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5 thoughts on “Fish in a Tree”

  1. Thank you for this review. I really loved this book and wish all kids could have a teacher like Mr. Daniels. I think students from 4th grade up could identify with the characters in the story and like you said, this book would be a wonderful read aloud for upper grades. The discussion afterwards could make all the difference in someone’s life.

  2. I think we all know a child like Ally. What a great book to raise awareness and to not let these children slip through the cracks. Excited to read this one.

  3. Though I normally tend to prefer adventure and fantasy books, I’m so glad I read this one. Hunt does a great job of making all the characters relatable. Everyone has challenges in life and this books shows that they are made easier when we offer each other a helping hand…and accept the hand offered to us. Great book.

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