Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mr. Daniels assigns a writing exercise where students must write about a fictional character they consider a hero. Albert finds the premise illogical, while Oliver spouts off the names of every superhero. He even asks Suki for her opinion, but keeps talking and never lets her answer. Shay whispers meanly that they don't need to listen to Oliver's thoughts, but Oliver gravely says that if he were Aquaman, he'd summon piranhas to take Shay away. Eventually, everyone gets to work. Ally loves that Albert can't choose a character, while Oliver wants to write about every superhero.
As Ally continues to have experiences where she's able to relax and be more successful, she becomes able to look at her classmates as people, not as enemies. Now that the social situation isn't so fraught, Ally has the bandwidth to appreciate the differences between her classmates and understand that those differences are what make them special.
Themes
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
The next day, Mr. Daniels calls Ally up to his desk. He's holding her paper and asks Ally to read it out loud for him, as he had a hard time with her handwriting. Ally squints at her paper, but Mr. Daniels takes it and asks Ally to just talk about her hero. Her hero is Roy G. Biv—the colors of the color spectrum. She made him up and he means a lot to her because she uses the colors in her art. Ally stops short of saying that art is the only place she doesn't feel like a failure. Mr. Daniels calls Ally clever and an out-of-the-box thinker. He explains that this is a good thing, which confuses Ally.
Because Ally has spent her entire school career being teased for being different, it's earth shattering for her to hear that thinking differently is actually a good thing. This again speaks to the failures of Ally's other teachers to make Ally feel successful or identify her dyslexia sooner, while also showing that Mr. Daniels is a far superior educator. His choice to ask Ally to just talk shows that he understands she has trouble reading.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Blue quotation bubble icon linking to an important quote associated with this summary and analysis.
The next day, Ally is actually excited to present Roy G. Biv to the class. She takes out a color wheel that she made and asks what color is made by mixing all the colors together. Most kids guess dark colors, but Ally says the answer is white. She spins the wheel and as the colors blur, they turn white. Everyone, even Jessica and Shay, say it's cool. Oliver asks if Ally is going to give the color wheel away and says he'd give it to his bus driver.
Though Ally's classmates are correct if one is talking about paint, Ally is correct that all colors make white from a scientific perspective. The fact that there are two correct answers shows again that difference is good, important, and that anything can be correct as long as one is answering the right question.
Themes
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
As Ally sits down, she hears Jessica ask Shay for another friendship bracelet. Ally pretends not to listen as Shay says that she has lots of orders to fill and Jessica still owes her $3 for the last one. Ally turns around and asks incredulously if Shay actually charges for the bracelets. Shay meanly says she'd never sell Ally one but might for $10. Ally can't believe that anyone bought the bracelets or that Shay charges at all and turns down the offer. Shay calls Ally a dope and Ally thinks she's right—Albert and Keisha are true friends and she only just realized that.
Discovering that Shay has been selling the bracelets means that Ally now has proof that Shay's power at school didn't come from actual popularity; it came from her ability to scare people into following her and making her even wealthier. This shows Ally too that friendship bracelets are an incomplete marker of friendship, as evidenced by her realization that she does have friends.
Themes
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Blue quotation bubble icon linking to an important quote associated with this summary and analysis.
Get the entire Fish in a Tree LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fish in a tree.pdf.medium