Reviewed by Bodhi Hellesoe, Intermediate student
Fish in a tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt. (2017). Nancy Paulsen Books
An uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.

Fish In A Tree is an awesome novel about Ally and her journey to acceptance of her dyslexia. As she learns about herself, she makes friends along the way. I enjoyed this a lot because it had an excellent story line about how it is okay if you are different and it celebrates all differences, whether it is the colour of your skin or the ability to read, run, jump and so on. The relationship between Ally and her teacher drew me in and made me want to know even more about dyslexia. 

At the start all Ally wanted was to be like other kids. But throughout the book she gained knowledge of her dyslexia and started to enjoy being different. There were many other characters in Ally's class who also were different. As Ally began to accept her own differences, she was more able to see the difference in others around her. If no one different was born, most of the world's greatest discoveries or creations wouldn’t exist. For example, there would be no Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Jamie Oliver or anyone else making change. The world needs diversity in people to become greater and evolve. Creativity, kindness, intelligence and many more good traits don't always come in one standard form. 

I support the theme that if you are different, it is fine and you should celebrate yours and others’ differences. Ally and Mr Daniel had an inspiring relationship. Mr Daniel taught Ally that it wasn’t her fault that her brain worked differently and that she was just as good as everyone else.

I recommend this novel to people of all ages above eight because it helps people have more acceptance of people who are different.

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in bullying prevention, mental health and wellbeing topics.

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