Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Nook: Fish in a Tree

As a teacher, I know what happens when kids slip through the cracks - and I know the excitement when a kid finally connects with learning and is able to feel good about it. I enjoyed reading Fish in a Tree, a novel that is written for middle grade readers, but is actually also appropriate for anyone with a vested interest in the education process.

In the book, Ally Nickerson is smart, but has a secret - she can't read. Her ability to distract from it just makes her seem odd to her classmates. However, her new teacher is able to see beyond the distractions and finds her creativity, helping uncover her secret and working with her reading problem to figure out how to help her learn.

The book is very believable, both in the description of classroom settings, in Ally's character and the diversions she uses, in the unlikely friendships she forms, and also in the solutions that her teacher finds. It's a good read for kids to find compassion with other kids who struggle to learn, for teachers to remind them to look beyond the behaviors, and for parents to become inspired about what teachers can do.

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