Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mulally Hunt
What a powerful book. It's about Ally. She's a whiz at math and an amazing artist. She's been able to hide a secret for a long time though...she can't read. One day, though, she gets a new teacher, Mr. Daniels who is on to her. He takes the time to help Ally gain skills to overcome her Dyslexia.
As a teacher, I paid particular attention to the interactions between Ally and her teachers. This passage made me think:
Seven schools in seven years and they’re all the same. Whenever I do my best, they tell me I don’t try hard enough. Too messy. Careless spelling. Annoyed that the same word is spelled different ways on the same page. And the headaches. I always get headaches from looking at the brightness of dark letters on white pages for too long.
I wonder how many kids are going through this but, like Ally, are too embarrassed or afraid to say something? There are many famous people who struggle with Dyslexia...Albert Einstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Dav Pilkey, Pablo Picasso and George Washington to name but a few.
I found a great resource: understood.org. Lots of good resources and tips. Some things they suggest to encourage reluctant readers:
- Let them read comic books or graphic novels
- Use social media and blogging as a forum for reading and writing
- Let them read joke books
- Let them read cookbooks and try their hand at cooking or baking
- Read newspaper and magazines to keep up with current events (online or paper)
- eBooks or reading apps
Fish in a Tree was chosen for the Global Read Aloud 2015. Sign up now to participate this fall. It's a wonderful collaborative project for your students. It'll get them excited about reading and writing
You can find Lynda Mulally Hunt's website here. She will even do short Skype visits with your class!
If you need some help with close reading and comprehension questions, you can buy my close reading guide on Teachers Pay Teachers.
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