A long weekend with a small snow storm means lots of time for reading.
The book I am reviewing today is called: Fish in a Tree
This was under the category: A Book With a Metaphor in the Title
This book is based on the quote "Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believe it is stupid". The main character is a 6th grader named Ally. She has spent her whole life struggling to read. Instead of admitting she has a problem, or knowing that she isn't dumb, she just needs help - she avoids school work to the point of getting into trouble. She doesn't have any friends, and the class bully has it out for her. Her teacher leaves on maternity leave, and in comes a new teacher - a Mr. Daniels. He realizes right away that something is wrong with Ally and starts to get her the help she needs. Ally starts to make friends - a tough girl named Keisha and a smart boy named Albert. She gains confidence, and she realizes that it is okay to be different.
This was a great book. It had a valuable lesson. It shows that some kids who have an underlying diagnosable problem can be labeled as "trouble makers" and never given the help they actually need. But when that help is given, they thrive and become the people they are supposed to be.
It made me think a lot about Finley's teacher that she had last year, Mrs. Holm. For two years, Mrs. Holm made Finley the person we knew she was underneath all the anxiety and worry. She gave her the tools she needed to become a confident learner, and showed Finley that she isn't alone in her struggles. That there are adults that will be there to help. Good friends that will be by your side. We will always be grateful for that.
I really liked this book. It wasn't a very long book, and it was written on a level for you tween/teen. (my daughter, Arlington said their teacher read it to them in class). But the message was great, and I recommend it.