So you read this heartwarming story by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and now you’re on the hunt for books like Fish in a Tree? Welcome!
Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but as I said in the first post in this series, I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s bestselling middle grade novel, Fish in a Tree. The book is the story of young Ally, a girl with dyslexia, and it highlights the importance of teachers who truly care.
Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have at least three strong similarities with the beloved title. For this post, though, I’ve chosen books with kids dealing with learning difficulties, stories with the best teachers, and books that address finding self-worth despite learning differently from other kids. If you or your kids loved this book, here are more books like Fish in a Tree.
Books Like Fish in a Tree
Here are 7 books like Fish in a Tree
Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen
Published: October 12, 2021
I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I adored it. Maple is Jewish and Hindi and is looking forward to moving into sixth grade with her two best friends, when her school decides to hold her back in the fifth grade. You see, Maple can’t read and despite having bypassed all her other teachers, her fifth grade teacher has found her out. This story highlights the challenges of trying to read when you have dyslexia and how being held back can affect her child psychologically.
Out of My Mind
Published: March 9, 2010
This classic by Sharon Draper features a disabled protagonist with cerebral palsy. Melody may need a computer to speak and a wheelchair to move around, but she has no challenges learning. In fact, she has a photographic memory. She just has to show her classmates.
The War That Saved My Life
Published: January 8, 2015
Ada’s mother keeps her locked up because of her twisted foot, but when Ada gets sent to London with her brother, they’re taken in by a kind woman named Susan. Ada realizes that she’s more than the limits her mother imposed on her. But will the kids’ bond with Susan keep them together?
How to Find What You’re Not Looking For
Published: September 14, 2021
Veera Hiranandani’s latest middle grade novel stars Ariel a Jewish girl with dysgraphia in the 1960’s. Ariel’s sister has eloped with an Indian after the Loving vs Virginia ruling, much to her parents’ dismay. Now, on top of dealing with the tense situation at home, Ariel needs to figure out a way to keep writing all the poems that live in her head, even though her handwriting is almost illegible — and it’s so hard to write. Thankfully, a new teacher may have just the solution for her.
Because of Mr. Terupt
Published: October 12, 2010
One teacher changes the lives of seven different students in this first book of the series. But when Mr. Terupt is involved in an accident, can they carry the lessons they’ve learned in his absence?
Published: January 8, 2019
This funny, heartfelt Gordon Korman book centers on a class of misfits — including one boy who has dyslexia — and how they force their unwilling teacher into becoming their #1 advocate.
Close to Famous
Published: February 3, 2011
After moving to a new town to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend, Foster McPhee is ready for a new start pursuing her culinary dreams. There’s just one problem: she can’t read.
There they are: 7 great books like Fish in a Tree. Which of these ones have you read? I love that this list includes a good mix of classics and new releases.