Fish in a Tree


Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Fish in a Tree: Chapter 27 Summary & Analysis

Keisha invites Albert and Ally to her house to help her test if cookie dough letters will work in her cupcakes. She tells Albert to think of it as a science experiment and slides the cookbook towards Ally. Ally panics and spins off into a mind movie, but Albert offers to trade jobs. Ally rolls out dough and cuts the word "cow" out as Albert reads. They arrange the letters in the cupcake tins, cover them with batter, and put them in the oven.
The fact that even just baking with Keisha is such a difficult experience for Ally speaks to the amount of anxiety she has about reading: it's even stressful when it's among friends whom Ally trusts not to tease her. Albert's offer to take the cookbook can be read as a way for him to quietly take care of his friend.
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Albert asks for milk, explaining that they've switched to water at his house. He then asks if a vegetarian can eat a cupcake with "cow" inside. Ally notices that the oven is smoking. Keisha opens the oven and smoke billows out; the cupcakes overflowed and made a mess. Keisha is just disappointed, but Ally thinks that whenever she writes, it turns into a mess.
Again, Albert's comment about "switching to water" illustrates how poor his family is. When Ally blames herself for the mess, it continues to show the consequences of never being able to be successful at reading: Ally feels like she can't do anything right.
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