Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a young adult fiction novel about a young girl, in either 5th or 6th grade, named Ally who struggles with academic activities involving reading and writing. Although she experiences trouble in these areas, she did not have a teacher to help her figure out why she was having trouble with these activities. Within the first couple of chapters we learn that Ally lives with her older brother and mother, that her father is in a branch of the military and is deployed throughout the book.
We also learn that Ally has been transferred from other school before ending up at the school she is in when the novel begins. It is evident that there were special procedures or other academic activities in place prior to help Ally through her academic difficulties, but Ally does not like the situation she finds herself in and seems uncooperative with the teacher in the beginning of the novel. The teacher of Ally’s class in the beginning of the novel is pregnant and about to go out on maternity leave. During this time, Ally’s class gets a new teacher, Mr. Daniels.
He turns out to be very different from what Ally was expecting. He is determined to figure out the difficulty Ally has with reading and writing, and then offers to help her with it after school. It is in this setting that Ally really comes to realize that she is not so different from other children and that each child has their own struggles. She ends up making some pretty good friends that care a lot about her, she ends up figuring out that just because one person in the class is making fun of her, that it doesn’t mean the whole class is making fun of her or doesn’t like her. The book follows Ally through this school year, how she handles her struggles at home and at school. She learns about relationships and that they aren’t easy – no matter who is in them. She learns about many things in the book and in the end, yes, I was cheering for Ally and had grown fond of her character.
She, along with her two friends, Albert and Keisha are my favorite characters in the book followed very closely by Mr. Daniels. This book has its serious moments and humorous ones; I would recommend this book to any fifth or sixth grader. I would recommend this book to any young adult or older adult who enjoys reading the occasional young adult or juvenile fiction novel, to readers looking to read something different and not romantic. I kind of would recommend the book to any reader as there are probably moments in there that everyone can relate to as most of these instances are things that can happen in any school. I know that this book is available at my local library, but I was able to find a used copy at my locally owned bookstore. If you have a local used bookstore near you, I recommend checking there first for a copy. I’ve found some book in great condition for $5! I love a good deal – especially on books. If you prefer to have a brand new copy, you can grab one at Barnes & Noble for $16.99 (12.57 for Members!) or Amazon for $11.62 (Prime item too!).
Did I mention this book is a quick read? If not, it is. If you read it, I’d love you hear what you thought of it in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂