Saturday, May 23, 2015

FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a TreeWhat do Ally Nickerson, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison have in common?  They are all different learners.  In Ally's case it's dyslexia, unfortunately having attended seven schools in seven years hasn't helped her situation.

Ally's mother and older brother work hard to take care of the family since Ally's father is in the military and is currently deployed.  Her mother wants Ally to have friends and have fun, but making friends isn't easy when there's a different school every year.  Ally is also the perfect target for bullies who immediately seem to sense her weaknesses.

When her teacher Mrs. Hall leaves in the middle of the year to have a baby and Mr. Daniels arrives to take over the class, Ally begins to get the help she needs.  Mr. Daniels recognizes Ally is an incredibly intelligent girl who learns differently.  Things don't change overnight, but when it is discovered that Ally is dyslexic, Mr. Daniels is able to begin helping Ally learn to read and write with more success. 

Author Lynda Mullaly Hunt captures the frustration and confusion of a student with a learning disability.  She perfectly describes a typical classroom with a variety of personalities and behaviors.  Hunt provides an encouraging story for both children and educators.  Caring teachers can indeed make a difference in the lives of their students.

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