Fish in a Tree is a heartwarming story about 11 year old Ally Nickerson who has real trouble with reading and writing. Unaware of her own dyslexia she believes she is stupid and works very hard and successfully at hiding this from her teacher, classmates and family, but often gets into trouble at school because of this. Her dad is in the military and they have had to move often, exacerbating her problem.
Her new teacher Mr Daniels recognises her condition and starts to work with Ally to help her understand and open the magic doors of
For fans of Wonder, this is a feel good novel that celebrates people's differences and is a testament to the resilience of youth and the power of a great teacher. Lynda Mullaly Hunt says this book is in some way a love letter to her own 6th grade teacher who helped her become a confident happy student in a similar way.
Highly recommended for upper primary students and would make a great read aloud at the beginning of the year, or anytime really.
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson is also a great story about a child with a problem. Twelve year old Matthew has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) -he doesn't know why but he is really worried about germs and has to keep everything very clean and wash his hands a lot.
The reason for this is a mystery within this mystery story and something that is teased out cleverly so we understand why Matthew's behaviour is so extreme.
Also highly recommended for upper primary with some intense emotions dealt with with a deft hand and appropriate humour. The illustrations by Mike Lowery are fun too.
Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase is a rollicking good fun and funny yarn by Australian comedian Peter Helliar, well suited for those who love time travelling, humourous stories. If you're a David Walliams fan, this is the book for you.
Banished to his grandparents for the school holidays after being caught pranking the staff at school, Frankie Fish knows he is in for the MOST BORING HOLIDAYS of his life!
Except, unbeknown to Frankie, his grumpy one handed grandad (no-one has ever told Frankie exactly how his grandad lost his hand but he is about to find out) has made a time travelling machine and together they are transplanted into the past and into an adventure that will change their worlds.