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Author: Hunt, Lynda Mullaly
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Year Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780399162596
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grades 7 to 9

Fish in a Tree

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“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.”
Ally is so smart that she has successfully hidden her ‘slowness’ every time she lands in a new school. Her newest teacher’s (Mr. Daniel) approach with students and towards teaching, is different than Ally has ever experienced. It is his perceptiveness about Ally’s real learning issue which helps Ally to blossom into the person she wants to become. This book explores how dyslexic learners feel, and the courage it takes for them to face each day in the classroom. Ally’s friendships play a smaller role in this story to her learning issues. Ally’s learning challenges impact her self-esteem and her relationships with her peers and family.  This is an uplifting novel for teachers as it shows how one caring, invested teacher can make in an individual student’s learning and life.  For students who are experiencing learning problems or have classmates with learning difficulties, this story elicits empathy, compassion and understanding that often the most reluctant learners are the most courageous people.
This story is one of everyday heroes, both teachers, and students alike. It gives a realistic view of how much work it takes for learners to become successful.
Suitable for grades 4-8. Ideal for a read-aloud about school life and recommended especially for students struggling with learning challenges.

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