Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Fish in a Tree

Go To

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.

Fish in a Tree is a novel by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. It was published on February 15, 2015.

Ally is a young girl who has been to several different schools, and has been able to trick people into not realizing how dumb she is by coming up with many a creative distraction and/or story. But the sad truth is, she just sees herself as dumb. She can't read to save her life, and every time she tries, the letters just seem to start jumping and changing on the paper. As a result, she basically has no friends, visits the principal's office on a regular basis, and is the favourite object of bullying by Alpha Bitch Shay and her Girl Posse, including her number two, Jessica.

When her homeroom teacher, Mrs. Hall, quits her job to raise her child (and, unfortunately, parts with Ally on negative terms when Ally gives her a sympathy card instead of a goodbye card), Ally's homeroom gets a new teacher, Mr. Daniels, who is very eager to teach, and starts giving his students more socially-minded and free-thinking self-exploration lessons that he doesn't even intend to grade. Soon, he starts taking a particular shine to Ally, offering to give her some extra activities after school, and even discovers why she has such trouble reading.

Soon, Ally even finds herself some friends on Keisha, a girl who likes to cook, and Albert, a Big Guy who is into Star Trek.

Fish In A Tree contains examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Ally has no friends due to her disability. Thankfully, this doesn't stick.
  • Alpha Bitch: Shay LOVES bringing down Ally's mood every chance she gets.
  • Beta Bitch: Jessica is this to Shay.
  • Big Guy: Albert.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Daniels is very enthusiastic about teaching his kids, especially giving them activities more about outside-the-box thinking and self-discovery that won't even be graded.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: This is the reason Albert doesn't fight back against the kids who beat him up. Since he's bigger than them, people will assume HE'S the bully.
  • Election Day Episode: At one point in the book, Mr. Daniels decides to hold an election in their class for a school-wide student government. Jessica nominates Shay, who decides to nominate Ally purely to humiliate her with a crushing defeat. Ally frets about it at first, but after being motivated to make a Rousing Speech, Ally actually beats her.
  • Girl Posse: Shay has one until later in the book.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: If Ally just admitted she had trouble reading, her school life would have been much easier.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Albert is beaten up by a group of kids on a regular basis, and he just takes it because he "doesn't want to stoop to his level" as he says. When the kids start beating up Ally and Keisha, however, he finally throws down.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Albert. He actually owns several black t-shirts, all with the word "Flint" on them.
  • The Smart Guy: Albert.
  • Team Chef: Of Ally, Keisha, and Albet, Keisha is the one who cooks. Her specialty is muffins with words baked inside them.