Review: Fish in a Tree (2015)

fishtreeI want to share this book with every teacher that I know.

This is the story of Ally, a bright young girl who has creatively managed to fool a lot of people. Her poor behavior at school hides her truth. She can’t read.

This is also the story of Mr. Daniels, a teacher who sees Ally’s potential and finds a way to reach her.

The irony is that the kids who this book will speak to the most are not likely to be kids who pick it up to read. This book would be a great title for teachers to read aloud. It would appeal to a wide variety of ages, and I think could do well in grades 2-5.

Ally’s determination and optimism send a positive message to readers on the power of hard work and perseverance. The kindnesses shown by Mr. Daniels and by some of Ally’s classmates illustrate how simple acts of caring can change a person’s life.

I highly recommend reading this book, and sharing it with kids in your life!



Review: The Most Magnificent Thing (2014)


The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires chronicles the hard work and perseverance of a young girl with an idea. As an educator, I have encountered numerous children who believe that things will come easy to them. Maybe they believe this is the way it is for everyone, maybe most of their lives things have been easy. Whatever the case may be, I’ve seen many students get to a place where they struggle and I’ve watched as they want to give up. How I wish I had this book at my fingertips!

I love so many things about this book. I love that the protagonist/inventor/creator is a girl. I love that she makes numerous attempts at her design. I love that she takes a step away and sees things from a different angle. Her sidekick puppy is an adorable companion.

This book would pair well with What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada or The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.

Because, after all, we can do hard things. -Erin

(When I first read this book, I did not make the connection that the author is the same author of the Binky the Space Cat graphic novels.  Binky the Space Cat is also fantastic!)