Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Ally wakes up the next morning, she knows immediately she's class president. She finds an envelope on her desk at school. It's not from Mr. Daniels; it's in cursive and has Max's name at the bottom. Ally can't read it, so she slides it away and decides to try to read it later. She doesn't tell Keisha about it, fearing that Keisha will make a big fuss. Ally also wonders if she might actually like Max.
The letter makes Ally feel as though she truly has a chance at being a normal kid who experiences romance like anyone else, though her inability to read the letter shows her that in this regard, she'll still have to work harder than everyone else.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Mr. Daniels calls the class to order and then tells everyone that if they have suggestions for Ally, they should let her know so she can take their concerns to the meeting in the afternoon. Oliver approaches Ally first and says he wants to be able to bring candy for snacks. Later, Ally hears Shay saying that if she'd been elected, she would've started an equestrian club. Ally feels bad for a minute before she realizes that's another impossible promise. Ally thinks of all the clubs she could start and sees a mind movie of her, Keisha, and Albert riding a rocket. Shay pulls Ally back to earth by telling her that everyone thinks Ally should crawl in a hole. She stomps off when Ally points out that since lots of people voted for her, not everyone feels that way.
Now that Ally feels like she has the support of her classmates, it's much easier for her to see Shay's behavior as bluster and an act, not anything that should be taken seriously. This shows that Ally is simultaneously learning to trust her own voice and her own beliefs, which now tell her that she's valuable, not dumb. These also indicate that Ally is developing critical thinking skills, which will eventually help her be a better reader, as well as a better friend and engaged citizen.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
As Ally prepares to board her bus, Shay and Jessica stomp over and ask if Ally got the letter. Ally can't figure out why Shay even knows about the letter and an alarm goes off in her head. She asks what letter, and Shay impatiently whispers that the letter was from Max, asking Ally to meet him for lunch. She says Max is disappointed. Ally says nothing as she watches Max approach. Shay continues to say that Max likes Ally and Ally has to write back. Shay is very surprised when Max appears next to her and asks what she's talking about. Ally says that Shay thinks that Max wrote her a love letter, but she's too busy for romance. Max looks angrily at Shay and Jessica, and Ally is grateful she couldn't read.
Though Ally's inability to read is extremely lucky in this situation, this still indicates that until Ally learns to read better, she'll be at risk for things like this that Shay might pull. Fortunately, Max's displeasure with Shay and Jessica suggests that the tide is turning, and Shay no longer is in charge like she used to be. This shows that Mr. Daniels's insistence that bullying will not be tolerated is now being policed by empowered students as well as by him.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon