Fish in a Tree


Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Fish in a Tree: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Ally's afternoons with Mr. Daniels get easier because she's happy, but the work is hard. She struggles to understand that "cat" has three separate sounds and worries she'll never read a full book. After one lesson, Mr. Daniels asks Ally how she's feeling. Ally says she's happy to do the extra work, but it still feels like it'll be impossible to read like the other kids. With a serious look, he writes "impossible" on a piece of paper. Then, he draws a red line between the m and the p and tells her to rip it there, and then asks her to throw the "im" in the trash. Ally looks Mr. Daniels in the eye as she does so, trying to tell him with her eyes how grateful she is. He sends Ally off and she leaves, still holding the "possible" paper in her hand. She wants to believe.
Even though Ally doesn't mention her Sketchbook of Impossible Things here, Mr. Daniels's lesson with "impossible" begins to show Ally that what she once thought were things only for her sketchbook can now happen in her real life. This shows what kind of doors can be opened once someone is allowed to believe they're smart and given the appropriate tools to help them make up for where they struggle.
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