Book: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
For: Beehive Award long list
From: The library
Short Synopsis: Six grader Ally struggles in school, especially with reading. This is the story of how she got a new teacher who helped her to overcome and learn that even though she has a hard time with letters, she is smart in so many other ways.
My Response: I mean, it was okay. I liked what it was trying to do, but it did get a little overly agenda-y for me. And I kept thinking... would kids who struggle with reading actually read this to get something out it? And would kids who enjoy reading, enjoy this book about a kid who struggles with reading? I really doubt it. Because I must say, it was a bit on the boring side. Buy maybe someone would READ it to kids who struggle to read, and then they'd have hope and feel uplifted by this story. Maybe?
Bottom Line: Very slow, and too much of an agenda for me to totally enjoy it.
Let's Talk About: There are LOTS of middle grade books out there that are most awesome, but books like this are the reason I tend to stay clear of them for the most part. Sigh. I wanted to like it better. What's your feeling about middle grade? Do you find that there's almost always a "lesson to be learned" in them?
An incredibly strong novel, this one belongs in every library and will be inspiring to students and teachers alike. From Walking Brain Cells
Hunt provides an encouraging story for both children and educators. Caring teachers can indeed make a difference in the lives of their students. From Reading Junky's Reading Roost
My students keep recommending this to one another, especially to friends who like stories that really reach your heart. From Great Kid Books