Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt is the story of one girl's struggle to overcome her learning disability.
got a bit of a reputation as a class clown and occasional troublemaker.
She's good with numbers and art, but has trouble reading because of the
way the letters seem to move on the page. She makes her difficulties
into a joke, and she's fooled a lot of teachers so far. But when Mr.
Daniels, a long-term sub, takes over for her regular teacher, he sees
Ally's smart, creative side in a way that nobody else ever has. Over
time, Mr. Daniels helps Ally overcome her difficulties while celebrating
her unique skills and talents.
This book falls firmly into the
category of "inspirational teacher story," as you can see from the
summary above. There aren't a huge number of novels featuring dyslexic
protagonists out there, so there's some value in that. I was displeased
to find that this book perpetuates the "Einstein did poorly in school"
urban legend that's been pretty well debunked; I thought the book would
have been better served if the author had used a less controversial
example of a famous person who struggled with academics. On the other
hand, Ally's voice is smart and funny, and that made for an enjoyable
(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)