Imagine if you had a secret that you couldn’t share with anyone. Imagine if that secret was that you were entering fifth grade, and didn’t know how to read. Imagine if this secret constantly created awkward situations: like when you picked out a nice yellow card for your teacher who was about to have a baby only to realize when she opened it, that it was actually a sympathy card. This is reality for Ally Nickerson, the protagonist of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s Fish in a Tree.
Ally struggles in school both academically and socially because she learns differently than other kids. In fact, the title of this book comes from a famous quote by Albert Einstein which argues that everybody learns and lives differently: "Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid." In the story, Ally's teacher Mr. Daniels truly does believe Einstein's words, and works to help Ally and her classmates discover the ways in which they are all geniuses! I absolutely loved the characters Oliver and Keisha, and really found all the characters very relatable. This book deals with friendship, fitting in, and having the courage to ask for help.