Rating: High Five!
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Almost Identical, anything Jerry Spinelli or Wendy Mass, and Counting by 7s.
Favorite Quote: “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.”
Synopsis (from Amazon):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.
My teacher picked this book up and read a few chapters to the class months ago, and then we all pretty much forgot about it. I recalled it again when I saw it sitting by our class's whiteboard, and decided that I might as well finish it for myself if I wasn't going to hear the rest in class. (Hilariously enough, just as I finished this book my teacher seemed to remember it, too, and then began reading it to the class again. Oh well.) Anyways, I'm thrilled that this book ever entered my life, because it is truly an amazing story. It wasn't just the story, either. The writing, the characters, the messages - everything. I immediately dove into this story and noticed how the author's words reached right out to my heart and and made me feel Ally's emotion. This was great, because I don't really know what it feels like to have dyslexia or have much experience with it in general. I love how this book is set in an average classroom, and that there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary or special about Ally's life (minus the dyslexia, of course). I even liked how there was "the bully," "the follower," "the upstander/friend," "the life-changing teacher," and "the bullied." Although you could argue that this format is very cliche and generic, it worked. In fact, it reminds me a bit of "Thank You, Mr. Falker," by Patricia Polaccio. Overall, an amazing, beautiful story that I wholeheartedly recommend to all!