I get it. People who are different get picked on for their differences.
But I also understand that we are each different, and that means we all get bullied.
We deal with problems of this type in education every year, so anytime I can find good literature to help, I am eager to use it.
At the same time, I am always skeptical. It seems that for every 20 books with this theme, 19 of them are preachy.
Thankfully, author Lynda Mullaly Hunt does not preach to us and make us feel guilty for not having dyslexia as her main character does. In fact, I had a pretty good picture of a student that fit the mold of this main character. I was also looking carefully at the example being set by her new teacher Mr. Daniels. I liked the way he calmly handled situations and quietly made Ally feel like a champion.
I did feel like Ally and her friends had some pretty mature conversation styles, though - uncharacteristic vocabulary phrasing, and style for children their age. Because of this, I was constantly reminded that they were being manipulated by an adult author.
Surprisingly, I got into this story, and I was able to find reality inside of their dialogue.
From the author's website:
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.”
I recommend this book for students in my class to read, and I'd be interested in hearing their opinions.