Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree Chapter 51 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ally asks Mr. Daniels if she can renew her library book, which makes him extremely happy. He tells her yes and then gives her an envelope to take to Mrs. Silver. He says that she has to give it to her in person and bring the response back. Mrs. Silver greets Ally warmly as Ally holds out the envelope, but Mrs. Silver needs to make a phone call first. Ally sees the poster that she couldn't read earlier in the school year. She holds the envelope under the first line and starts to sound out the first words.
Again, now that Ally knows she won't be punished for trying things and isn't in constant conflict with Mrs. Silver, she feels comfortable trying to read this poster in front of Mrs. Silver. With this, Ally demonstrates that she's learned that needing to read in a different way isn't something to be ashamed of; she needs to own it or she'll never learn.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Mrs. Silver comes up behind Ally, puts her hands on Ally's shoulders, and asks her to keep going. Ally asks Mrs. Silver to read it to her once first. Mrs. Silver reads that the bravest thing a person can do is to ask for help. She then apologizes for not picking up on the dyslexia sooner and says she's proud of everything Ally's done. Ally thinks that she should've asked for help long ago, but she wasn't brave enough then.
Asking Mrs. Silver to read the poster is an indicator that Ally trusts her principal. Mrs. Silver's apology shows how easy it is for kids like Ally to slip through the cracks, especially when they move as much as Ally has and don't have as much time to get to know their teachers.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Blue quotation bubble icon linking to an important quote associated with this summary and analysis.
Ally hands over the envelope. Mrs. Silver laughs when she opens it, saying that the note reads that Ally is the student of the month. Ally is ecstatic and runs back to the classroom. Mr. Daniels announces that Ally is the student of the month and the class applauds. Shay says something that Ally can't hear, but Jessica tells Shay to stop.
In particular, Jessica's willingness to stop Shay from saying mean things shows that Jessica now feels safe choosing kindness and no longer feels the pressure to follow Shay. Shay is now wholly alone, which hopefully will mean that she'll begin to shift her thinking to fit in.
Themes
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
Ally stays after school waiting for Travis, who's driving her and her big project home. Seeing Travis, everything suddenly makes sense to Ally: Travis is smart, just like she is. She throws her arms around him and then asks him to wait. Ally races back to her classroom and right up to Mr. Daniels's desk. She pulls out the piece of paper that says "possible" and asks Mr. Daniels to help Travis learn to read too. Mr. Daniels says he'll be there in a minute to talk with her and Travis. Ally feels grateful for Mr. Daniels and thinks that she'll set the world on fire now.
Now that Ally has gone through this journey of identifying her disability and learning that it's not a bad thing, she can pay Mr. Daniels's kindness forward by helping Travis identify his dyslexia and learn to conquer it too. In this way, the novel suggests that people like Ally will lead the future of disability conversations and be able to most effectively help others.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
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Ally walks back to the gym and then hands Travis the piece of paper with "possible" on it. Mr. Daniels arrives a moment later, introduces himself, and compliments Ally. He explains what they do after school and invites Travis to join them. Ally sees a mind movie of Nickerson Restoration as well as one of her being happy in her future. She knows that those movies won't go in her Sketchbook of Impossible Things, because now, they're actually going to happen. Everything seems possible.
Because Mr. Daniels has given Ally the confidence that she can accomplish great things, if only she tries and has the right tools, she understands that nothing is impossible. By recognizing that her Sketchbook of Impossible Things was actually holding her back, Ally can now look forward to her future where she can actually do anything.
Themes
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon