Fish in a Tree begins with the author immersing the reader in the agony and despair of contemporary, sixth grader Ally. Told in first person, the emotions are excruciatingly personal and raw, but despite the painful beginning this middle grade novel is ultimately one of hope. It examines bullying, friendships, self-esteem, disabilities, and the influence of teachers. Ally is funny and charming; she finds some unlikely friends that are equally endearing and have their own battles to fight, too. The author’s characterization is top-notch. A precocious reader younger than twelve would likely enjoy this book, but if the reader requires plentiful action, then they may be impatient; the majority of the book takes place within the classroom and within the character’s mind. Fans of Absolutely Almost and Wonder will enjoy this book.
The audio version of this book is perfectly voiced by reader Kathleen McInerney and is highly recommended.
Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations.
Violence/Gore: Character is seen with unexplained bruises, multiple times; character reports being beat up by other kids; confrontation/fight occurs when kids as bullying another there is hitting and pushing and a girl is pushed down by a boy.
Mature Subject Matter:
Learning disabilities, military deployment of a parent, bullying.
Alcohol / Drug Use: