Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 2 - 8W3.748814
A New York Times Bestseller!

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.

“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.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published on February 5, 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books
ISBN-10: 0399162593
ISBN-13: 9780399162596
131 Book Reviews
  • skyfly49
    skyfly49Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm44 stars
    I love this book because it embraces learning differences. Some things might be harder for others, and that's okay. Lynda Mullaly Hunt really captures this amazing idea in this novel.
    • thesmessywriter
      thesmessywriterWednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:39 am55 stars
      i can really relate to this book. a MUST read
      • sreadergirl
        sreadergirlThursday, October 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm44 stars
        This is pretty good but there's a lot of negativity. It's pretty sad too. But it is pretty good.
        • erpandareader
          erpandareaderThursday, October 15, 2020 at 11:59 am55 stars
          this is an amazing boo boo ok I think! my mom is reading it to me and my sister! I love Ally, mister Daniels, and her friends (but I DO NOT like Shay)
          • nzsgocubs
            nzsgocubsFriday, September 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm55 stars
            Fish in A Tree is a good read for third-fifth grade students. I gave it four and a half stars based on plot, craft, message, and story. The novel starts off with the main character Ally, making a comparison to trouble and the ground. She says it is always there around her. Ally is the main character, who has dyslexia, a condition making it difficult for the victim to be literate. The book swifts around embarrassment, happiness, victory, and sorrow. It is both entertaining and sad, making it a great, relaxing read.
            • the-odd1sout
              the-odd1soutMonday, July 27, 2020 at 8:23 am55 stars
              Great book!
              • bsc
                bscThursday, April 30, 2020 at 4:49 pm55 stars
                I loved this book! So Ally has always tried to hide her inability by trying to fool people. But then one day her class gets a new teacher, Mr. Daniels. He sees a creative, smart, and wonderful kid in Ally, whereas she sees a dumb, bad, and weird kid. He teaches her and she learns she isn't dumb. She's different.
                • Kowhai FlowerSunday, April 19, 2020 at 7:33 pm
                  Fish in a tree is an enticing book about a girl named Ally who believes she is stupid. She has never learned to read but instead gets herself in trouble on purpose or makes up excuses to not join in. Ally is constantly getting sent to the principals office, she wants to be anyone except herself. When her teacher Mrs Hall goes on maternity leave and she gets a substitute teacher a whole new world opens up for her.
                  • 123unicorn_Go!Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 10:09 am
                    this book is the best
                    • amelia21
                      amelia21Monday, April 6, 2020 at 9:54 amFeatured
                      This story takes place in a school. At the beginning of the story, Ally, the main character, seems to be mischievous and not interested in learning. All she wants to do is draw pictures. She is always in trouble for not doing her work and gets sent to see the principal a lot. Two other girls are really mean to her, Shay and Jessica and it really bothers Ally that she lets it bother her. It turns out that Ally can’t read. When she tries to read, her eyes hurt, she gets headaches and the letters move all over the paper and jump out at her. When her regular teacher, Mrs. Hall leaves to have a baby, Mr. Daniels takes over the class. He recognizes that Ally has a problem and so helps her learn how to read. He encourages her and points out to her how good she is at other things like math problems and art. She starts liking school more and more. She also makes two friends, Keisha and Albert. These are the first friends she has had. This book shows us is you can be smart and not be able to read. It also shows us how good it feels to have friends and how awful it is when someone says mean things to you. This is a really good book. I recommend it for everyone in grades 4-6. AAW, 4th grade