Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading? weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.
Nothing like a snow day to inspire snuggling up with a book. I know that I will be unhappy in June, but this morning, being able to stay in bed and read Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt felt pretty decadent. Mel Swider wrote about this book in her post about Growth Mindset. She was lucky enough to read an ARC copy of it a while ago. The rest of us can buy it now, as this long awaited book was released on February 5, 2015.
Ally, a sixth-grader, has moved around a lot and has managed to hide her difficulties with reading. However, her new teacher, Mr. Daniels who reminds me of Mr. Falker in Patricia Palacco's Thank you, Mr. Falker (these two books would make a wonderful pairing!), picks right up on Ally's struggles. He not only helps her learn to he read, but he also helps her recognize and value her strengths, educating the entire class about dyslexia. Reading this book as a class read aloud would inspire many questions and conversations about learning difficulties that could lead to greater understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of the assorted intelligences we all have. The lessons, messages, and themes in Fish in a Tree go much further, though. The text is simple, but the conversations and insights about human behavior are complex.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt weaves in many pearls of wisdom and expressions to remember. Many of her characters are prototypical and Ally's grandfather was particularly insightful about the world. Ally remembers him telling her
"to be careful with eggs and words, because neither can ever be fixed." (p. 185, ARC copy) I can't wait to use this line, as it is not one that I've heard before!