Fish in a Tree


Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Fish in a Tree: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

When Ally leaves school later, Mom and Travis are waiting for her in the car—they're going to a friend's house so that they can Skype with Dad. Ally tries to control her excitement. Mom seems ready to cry as Ally tells Dad about Mr. Daniels, Ally, Keisha, and Shay. Then, Ally says goodbye and Travis has his turn. Travis isn't as happy as Ally; he tells Dad that he has a new manager at the auto shop who makes Travis looks things up in the manual. Travis says the new manager doesn't get him and seems to barely believe Dad's praise and encouragement.
Mom's emotions here offer the reader some insight into how hard she must have to work as an effectively single parent, especially when both her children have learning disabilities. This shows that, intentional or not, Ally's parents aren't truly able to be there for her and Travis. Though Mom and Dad seem supportive, they must rely on people like Mr. Daniels to truly advocate for their children.
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Ally and Travis leave so that Mom and Dad can talk in private. Travis tells Ally that he's so frustrated with work and though he talks about restoring old Coke machines and having Nickerson Restoration, he doesn't seem happy or hopeful. Ally tries to think of how she can help before Mom calls them back to say goodbye to Dad.
Now that things are looking up for Ally, she can begin to expand her thinking outwards to other people and can brainstorm how to help them with their problems. This illustrates how difficult it can be to be a good friend when one is dealing with the weight of not being able to read.
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