The first Tween Us Book Club book selection is Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. I really hope that you and your tweens are able to participate and have picked up with the book, or the audio book, that tells the story of Ally Nickerson, who struggles with learning differences, and her classmates in Mr. Daniels’ sixth grade classroom.
If you’re not familiar with the Tween Us Book Club, you can find information on the book, the logistics of book club, and the benefits of it here. We will devote a day on the Tween Us Facebook page and the blog to discussing the book. Let’s go with August 17th,
I know several families have already finished the book, and wanted to share this great discussion guide written by Stacey Loscalzo. Stacey is partnering with me on the Book Club and she put together this fantastic discussion guide full of questions meant to spark conversations with your kids and fellow readers.
Fish in a Tree Discussion Guide
1. “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.”
What is your interpretation of this quote? How do you think it relates to Ally’s life?
2. Describe a “silver dollar” day that Ally had and one “wooden nickel” day. Then do the same for yourself.
3. Ally closes her hands over a butterfly in order to guarantee that her wish would come true. What do you think she wished for? What would your ‘butterfly wish’ be?
4. Ally says, “Well…alone is a way to be. It’s being by yourself with no one else around. And it can be good or bad. And it can be a choice…. But being lonely is never a choice. It’s not about who is with you or not. You can feel lonely when you are alone, but the worst kind of lonely is when you’re in a room full of people, but you’re still alone. Or you feel like you are anyway.”
Describe a time that you felt lonely when you were surrounded by other people.
5. Ally discovers that Shay has been charging her friends for her friendship bracelets. The author writes “I look over at Keisha and Albert and realize that I have been. I’ve been lucky all along but didn’t see it.”
What does Ally mean when she describes herself as lucky.
6. Ally says, “My grandpa used to say to be careful with eggs and words, because neither can ever be fixed. The older I get, the more I realize how smart my grandpa was.”
Write about a time when you or a friend were not careful with your words.
7. Ally’s class must answer the following question: “So I’d like you to tell me, if you could have an unlimited amount of any single object, what would it be? It can’t be magical, have special powers, or anything like that. Just an ordinary, everyday type of object.”
How would answer this question?
8. Ally receives an award for her poetry. Was she deserving? Or was it a pity award, like she thought it was? Why or why not?
If you’re a teacher, home schooling parent or just looking for more in-depth projects and ways to explore Fish in a Tree, check out the lesson plans available on publisher Penguin’s website here.
I can’t wait to hear about the conversations you have! What other topics of discussion came up when you and your family discussed this book? If there are other questions and topics you’d add, please share the in the comments!
You May Like The Intial Book Club Post: Join the Tween Us Book Club by reading Fish in a Tree
Please like Tween Us on Facebook.
If you would like to get emails of Tween Us posts, please type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Books & Magazines