Fish in A Tree Book Review

Fish in a Tree

4 out of 5 stars

“Well…alone is a way to be. It’s being by yourself with no one else around. And it can be good or bad. And it can be a choice…. But being lonely is never a choice. It’s not about who is with you or not. You can feel lonely when you are alone, but the worst kind of lonely is when you’re in a room full of people, but you’re still alone. Or you feel like you are anyway.”

I saw this book on a pinterest lists of books that all teachers should read. I already had checked it out of the library and had it sitting in my to be read pile for May. Originally I picked it because it had a fish on the cover and fish in the title and I love fish. I decided to read it before other books because of that pinterest list, you see I’m an aspiring educator so I felt this book might make me feel better about that. I’ve been a little discouraged about the path that I decided to pursue.

Fish in a Tree is the story of a 6th grade girl, Ally, who struggles in the classroom due to inability to read. Rather than ask anyone for help she becomes the class clown and continues to get herself sent to the office. It isn’t until one teacher notices her individuality and decides that he is going to bring to light her talents. Because of this teacher, Ally feels comfortable to stand out and use her talents to succeed in the classroom around others who don’t fit in.

I cried while reading this book because of how much I could relate to the characters who didn’t fit in. I really wish that I had found books like this when I was in middle school because it would’ve helped tremendously with my self esteem. I love how this book celebrates each characters differences and includes a teacher who helps them learn to love themselves not despite these differences but because of them.

I recommend this book to anyone who had a rough time growing up and being different, and to anyone who is currently going through not fitting in. Even though the book is written for a middle school audience I think adults can still enjoy it as they remember their years through middle school.

Another audience that I recommend this to would be educators and aspiring educators, especially those that may be questioning why we go into this profession. It really motivated me to continue working with students and not give up on pursuing that career because of the difference just one of us can make.

About the Book: “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 has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

About the Author:

About the book is borrowed from Goodreads.

If you would like to read this book you can find it at or look for it at your local library

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