Fish in a Tree

The story’s protagonist, Ally is a sixth-grade student who, unbeknownst to herself for much of the novel, has dyslexia. Though Ally is extremely smart, good at math, and a talented artist, she can barely read and struggles to write. After seven years, seven schools, and seven teachers implying that Ally isn't smart or a dedicated enough student, Ally believes that she's dumb. She often refuses to do her homework and her inability to read means that she struggles socially. This is why she gives Mrs. Hall a sympathy card for her baby shower; she couldn't read the card and therefore, didn't know that it wasn't appropriate. In turn, this makes Ally a prime target for bullies. Ally also fears admitting that she needs help, and to cope draws in her Sketchbook of Impossible Things and watches "mind movies," which help her escape from reality. Things begin to change when Mr. Daniels takes over for Mrs. Hall. Soon, Ally discovers that she'd like to impress Mr. Daniels, so she starts to try harder to complete her assignments. She also begins to tell the truth when Mr. Daniels asks her questions about her homework, such as how long it takes her and whether letters move on the page. Mr. Daniels asks Ally to undergo testing for dyslexia, which she discovers that she does indeed have. The two begin to play chess, which engages Ally's visual brain and gives her something at which she can be successful, and also begin doing exercises that help Ally develop tricks to read. As these successes pile up, Ally learns to trust Mr. Daniels and herself, winning the election for class president in the process. Ally also discovers that many famous people had dyslexia, which makes her feel like she can be successful. She finally pays her successes forward by inviting her dyslexic brother, Travis, to attend tutoring sessions so that he can learn to read too.

Ally Quotes in Fish in a Tree

The Fish in a Tree quotes below are all either spoken by Ally or refer to Ally. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Fish in a Tree published in 2015.
Chapter 2 Quotes

I stand tall, but everything inside shrinks. The thing is, I feel real bad. I mean, I felt terrible when the neighbor's dog died, never mind if a baby had died. I just didn't know it was a sad card like that. All I could see were beautiful yellow flowers. And all I could imagine was how happy I was going to make her.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mrs. Silver, Mrs. Hall
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 5 Quotes

I'm so tired of this conversation. We've had it a hundred times, even though my third-grade teacher told her that I might just be slow, that my mom shouldn't expect too much of me. My mom's eyes got all wide and shiny when she heard that, and I felt sad and embarrassed for her having to be my mom.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mom, The Third Grade Teacher
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 6 Quotes

“Well,” the guy says, “if you know anything about coins, you know that a coin with a flaw in it is far more valuable than a regular coin.”

Something isn't right with it and it's worth more?

Related Characters: The Salesman (speaker), Ally, Travis, Dad, Grandpa
Related Symbols: Coins
Page Number: 32
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Chapter 9 Quotes

As I walk back to my seat, I think of how when Dad left, he said that when we look at the steel pennies, we need to remember that we are unique, too. And also, that things will go back to normal for us—that he'll be home before we know it.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Travis, Dad
Related Symbols: Coins
Page Number: 52
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Mr. Daniels gives Oliver a thumbs-up, and I think how cool it is that they have the ear-pulling signal. That way he doesn't always have to tell Oliver that he's doing something wrong in front of everyone. I know what that feels like and I'm happy that Mr. Daniels cares so much. Most teachers seem to like their students to be all the same—perfect and quiet. Mr. Daniels actually seems to like that we're different.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels, Oliver
Page Number: 52
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Chapter 10 Quotes

But now, on top of all those other big wishes that I carry around, I have one more. I want to impress Mr. Daniels. With every tiny little piece of myself, I just want him to like me.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels
Page Number: 57
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Chapter 11 Quotes

Besides that, Shay, Jessica, and some other girls all have these woven friendship bracelets. And I have never had the kind of friends who have matching bracelets, but I have always wanted them. It's like the bracelet tells the world that the person wearing it has someone who cares about them.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Shay, Jessica
Related Symbols: Friendship Bracelets
Page Number: 60
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I'm not perfect, but at least I'm not mean.

And then my heart sinks, because I realize that I just was.

I guess I did it because I was lonely. Now I know that there are worse things than being lonely.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Albert, Shay, Jessica
Page Number: 63
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Chapter 15 Quotes

The next morning, I am trying to decide if I should turn in my paper, knowing Mr. Daniels will probably think I spit it out in two minutes. The truth is that it cost me my whole night and a headache that was so bad, it reminded me of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland always yelling, “Off with her head!” Just because I thought that would be a relief.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels
Page Number: 84
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Chapter 17 Quotes

People act like the words “slow reader” tell them everything that's inside. Like I'm a can of soup and they can just read the list of ingredients and know everything about me. There's a lot of stuff about the soup inside that they can't put on the label, like how it smells and tastes and makes you feel warm when you eat it. There's got to be more to me than a kid who can't read well.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker)
Page Number: 95
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Chapter 23 Quotes

Even when I do something right, I feel like I've done something wrong. If I were a coin, I'd be a wooden nickel.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels, Shay
Related Symbols: Coins
Page Number: 125
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Chapter 24 Quotes

“Do you know what it means to think out of the box?” he asks.

I shake my head.

“It means that you are a creative thinker. You think differently than other people.”

Great. Just once, I want to be told I'm like everyone else.

“It's a good thing to be an out-of-the-box thinker. People like that are world-changers.”

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels (speaker)
Page Number: 129
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“I laugh. “Uh, no, thanks. I'd rather wear handcuffs.”

I can't believe Shay charges her friends for something that's supposed to stand for loyalty and friendship. And I can't believe they paid.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Shay, Jessica
Related Symbols: Friendship Bracelets
Page Number: 132
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Chapter 26 Quotes

It comes from a place so deep inside, it's like it's coming out of the ground. “I just... I just want to fit in for once. I mean, I really do. Just to be the same as everyone else.”

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Keisha
Page Number: 139
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“You are smart, Ally. And you are going to learn to read.”

A chill runs through my whole body. I don't have any choice but to believe him, because I can't go another day thinking things will be like this forever.

Related Characters: Mr. Daniels (speaker), Ally
Page Number: 158
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Chapter 33 Quotes

I walk over to the garbage and drop it in. Watch it twist and spin as it falls. I look up and lock eyes with him and wish I had the words to tell him how grateful I am for his helping me. In this world of words, sometimes they just can't say everything.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels
Page Number: 176
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Chapter 34 Quotes

“People ask what you want to be when you grow up. I know what kind of grown-up I want to be. But I don't know who I am now.” Albert stretches his legs out. “There are always people ready to tell you who you are, like a nerd or a jerk or a wimp.”

Related Characters: Albert (speaker), Ally, Keisha
Page Number: 183-84
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And I think of words. The power they have. How they can be waved around like a wand—sometimes for good, like how Mr. Daniels uses them. How he makes kids like me and Oliver feel better about ourselves. And how words can also be used for bad. To hurt.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels, Keisha, Albert, Oliver
Page Number: 184
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Chapter 37 Quotes

I guess maybe “I'm having trouble” is not the same as “I can't.”

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels
Page Number: 197
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Shay sounds like someone completely different. The Shay I know, always so quick to pick a fight, now has a voice that sounds like a kindergartener.

“Sorry, Mama.” She brushes a tear from her cheek.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Shay (speaker), Shay's Mom
Page Number: 209-10
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 42 Quotes

Normally, I'd be giving him all kinds of reasons I can't do this. But the thing is, Mr. Daniels could hand me a book as heavy as a boulder and I'd try to read it.

Just because he asked me to.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels
Page Number: 218
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Chapter 45 Quotes

As I draw, I think about my sketchbook and how I love it but don't draw in it as much anymore. It used to be the only thing that made me happy. Now I have other things, too.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker)
Page Number: 228
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Chapter 48 Quotes

And looking around the room, I remember thinking that my reading differences were like dragging a concrete block around every day, and how I felt sorry for myself. Now I realize that everyone has their own blocks to drag around. And they all feel heavy.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Mr. Daniels, Shay, Oliver
Page Number: 245
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Chapter 50 Quotes

I feel like I'm going to cry. Thinking how Albert has come to school every day with those bruises for all this time. We always asked him what it would take for him to fight back. Turns out it was protecting us.

Related Characters: Ally (speaker), Keisha, Albert, The Bullies
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 51 Quotes

I want you to know how sorry I am about the bumpy road we had for a while. I'm proud of all the strides you're making. All the hard work you're doing. We should have picked up on your learning differences before, but you were so bright... and, well, I hope you'll give me another chance to help.

Related Characters: Mrs. Silver (speaker), Ally
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ally Character Timeline in Fish in a Tree

The timeline below shows where the character Ally appears in Fish in a Tree. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: In Trouble Again
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
Mrs. Hall stands in front of Ally's desk, encouraging her to finish her page of writing about herself for her new teacher.... (full context)
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Mrs. Hall reminds Ally that if she weren't drawing all the time, she could get her work done. Ally... (full context)
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The rest of the class starts to sigh. Ally knows that they're all thinking that she's a dumb freak and wonders why Mrs. Hall... (full context)
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Ally picks up her pencil and scribbles all over her desk, and then explains to a... (full context)
Chapter 2: Yellow Card
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Shay and Jessica laugh and ignore Mrs. Hall's admonitions while Ally wonders why she isn't used to this. Keisha, the new girl, tells Shay to mind... (full context)
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Mrs. Silver tells Ally that this is beyond inappropriate and a bad way to get attention. Ally puts her... (full context)
Chapter 3: Never up to Me
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Mrs. Silver asks Ally if she has anything to say, but Ally stays silent. Eventually, Mrs. Silver leads Ally... (full context)
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At Mrs. Silver's prodding, Ally admits that she wasn't trying to be funny and didn't want to hurt Mrs. Hall,... (full context)
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...to a poster with two hands reaching for each other with words underneath and asks Ally to read it. Ally refuses, since she knows it'd take her a long time. She... (full context)
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The bell rings. Mrs. Silver says that Ally has crossed a line and when Mr. Daniels arrives on Monday, Ally needs to avoid... (full context)
Chapter 4: Bird in a Cage
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Ally walks all the way to where Mom works, a restaurant called A. C. Petersen Farms.... (full context)
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Ally opens her book and wonders how other people can read the dancing letters. Instead of... (full context)
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Soon, Ally notices Mom in front of her. Ally looks up and explains that she didn't know... (full context)
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Ally hears Shay and Jessica come into the restaurant. Shay feigns concern that Ally didn't return... (full context)
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While Mom is in the kitchen, Jessica and Shay laugh that Ally's mom is a waitress. Shay says that Ally could be a waitress if she could... (full context)
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Ally sneaks into the back room and hides behind a shelf of cans and bottles. She... (full context)
Chapter 5: Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickels
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Later that evening, Ally feels instantly better when Travis walks in, smelling of grease. He says he had a... (full context)
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...the TV. She says that she's trying to be patient, but she's getting tired of Ally's behavior. Ally counters that everyone hates her and tells the reader that being funny when... (full context)
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Mom says seriously that Ally needs to buckle down and make a better effort. Ally agrees to do so, but... (full context)
Chapter 6: Triple-Sided Coin
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Travis and Ally enter a pawnshop. It smells like old memories of Dad and Grandpa taking Travis and... (full context)
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...coin with a flaw is more valuable than a regular coin, an idea that shocks Ally. He then says he'll sell the penny for $75. Travis smiles, which Ally tells the... (full context)
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Ally is elated as she accepts the dime outside the shop. Travis explains that both coins... (full context)
Chapter 7: No Grandpas Here
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On Sunday night Ally sits on her bed, holding the old copy of Alice in Wonderland that Grandpa gave... (full context)
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...with a dark jacket and a tie with planets on it. Kids surround him, and Ally hears him telling them that they can memorize the planets by remembering, "my very excellent... (full context)
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Ally sits down and vows to do better and work harder, even though she knows it... (full context)
Chapter 8: Real Trouble
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Ally's day starts out well since they do mental math exercises in the morning and she's... (full context)
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Mr. Daniels asks if Ally doesn't like writing and finds it difficult. She thinks about her answer carefully and decides... (full context)
Chapter 9: Bag Full of Nothing
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Ally says that their assignment was to bring in something that represents them and to tell... (full context)
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...parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, and drinks it. Shay whispers meanly with Jessica, and Ally explains that Shay has gotten sneakier about being mean since Mr. Daniels took away her... (full context)
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Ally is next. She initially pretends she forgot to bring something and says she can't even... (full context)
Chapter 10: Promises, Promises...
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Mr. Daniels announces that he's going to talk about books. Ally enjoys it when he does this; she just doesn't want to read them. Then, he... (full context)
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Max and Oliver ask clarifying questions and Ally receives a yellow notebook. They all begin to write. Ally notices Suki holding one of... (full context)
Chapter 11: Scrambled Egg
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A few days later, Ally gets to school and discovers that Mr. Daniels has redone the seating chart. Ally is... (full context)
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Out of the blue, Ally asks Keisha if she likes eggs. Keisha seems incredulous, but Ally keeps going and talks... (full context)
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At lunch, Shay and Jessica invite Ally to sit with them. Ally doesn't want to, but she's tired of sitting alone and... (full context)
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Jessica points to Albert and everyone starts laughing. Ally doesn't understand why; Albert is dressed in his usual uniform of jeans and the Flint... (full context)
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Turning to Ally, Shay asks if Ally will join them in wearing robes and what she thinks of... (full context)
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...will suffer. Albert nonchalantly says that he doesn't care what Shay thinks and walks away. Ally wishes she were more like him and wants to be better. She reasons that at... (full context)
Chapter 12: What's Your Problem, Albert?
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That night, Mom opens Ally's bedroom door to check on her. Ally explains how Jessica and Shay roped her into... (full context)
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The next morning, Ally is drawing a pigeon wedding in her notebook and wondering how to apologize to Albert... (full context)
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Albert walks in, looking upset. Ally goes to him to apologize. He insists that the teasing didn't bother him and that... (full context)
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Ally sees a mind movie of a dragonfly inside an old-timey train car. She sees ladies... (full context)
Chapter 13: Trouble with Flowers
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Ally is very excited for the holiday concert. She got a new dress and her first... (full context)
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Last year, Ally got to stand in the front but now that she's grown, she gets to stand... (full context)
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...the only girl without flowers. Shay snidely says that people get what they deserve, and Ally hears Keisha sniff. She watches a mind movie of Mom's sad face if Ally were... (full context)
Chapter 14: Boxed In and Boxed Out
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...and they must guess what the object is without opening the box. Everyone looks excited. Ally is put in a group with Jessica, Max, Oliver, and Suki. Ally considers asking to... (full context)
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...might be a kangaroo and  Jessicagives him a disgusted look that makes him shrink. When Ally gets the box, she discovers that the object rolls. She suggests a baseball and surprisingly,... (full context)
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The second box contains an item that slides, not rolls. Ally feels as though she can almost see it and is surprised when Oliver tells her... (full context)
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Mr. Daniels tries to get Ally's wandering attention and she explains that she sometimes forgets to talk. She rolls the box... (full context)
Chapter 15: Ungreased Gears
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A few nights later, Ally sits at the kitchen table, trying to complete her homework: a paper describing her feelings... (full context)
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Ally can't decide whether or not to turn in her paper at all. In truth it... (full context)
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Keisha remarks that the class loses control over food and then gives Ally the cupcake. She says it's to thank Ally for what she did with the flowers.... (full context)
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Ally has the best lunch and recess she's had in a long time. Mr. Daniels calls... (full context)
Chapter 16: What I've Got
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A few days later, Ally shows up to school with her writing arm in a sling. Mr. Daniels is going... (full context)
Chapter 17: Misfit Lunch
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Ally watches Albert pretend to read and notices a new bruise on his jaw. She approaches... (full context)
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At lunch, Albert asks who decided that a half-pint of milk is enough. Ally suggests he buys two or ask his mom for more money, but Albert says that... (full context)
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...Misfit Toys. Keisha ignores them, and Albert says the girls don't bother him at all. Ally wishes she could not care too. Albert says that the whole idea of misfit toys... (full context)
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...is a perfect choice given that ostriches are hardier animals than horses. Lost in thought, Ally thinks that people have been calling her "slow" to her face for forever, as though... (full context)
Chapter 18: Truths and Untruths
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...because Mr. Daniels asked her to do a paper again since she can do better. Ally realizes she's never heard this from Mr. Daniels and it suddenly bugs her. She wants... (full context)
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...a rock, and a kind of sneaker. Albert looks uncomfortable. Finally, with gentle prodding from Ally, Albert says that Flint is a Star Trek character who goes to his own planet,... (full context)
Chapter 19: Not-So-Sweet Secret
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Mom smiles when Ally, Albert, and Keisha walk into Petersen's. She seats them in a booth and takes their... (full context)
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...fight him. Exasperatedly, Keisha says that the bullies fight Albert because he won't fight back. Ally suggests that Albert ask for help from his parents, but Albert says he wants to... (full context)
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...upset. When Keisha asks Albert what it would take to get him to fight back, Ally tries to engage Albert in a conversation about why he likes science. Albert asks Ally... (full context)
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Hesitantly, Ally says that she won the art award last year, which made Shay angry. And on... (full context)
Chapter 20: Is This a Good Thing?
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After school, Ally is in her room when she hears Travis come in the door and call for... (full context)
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The Walking Liberty half-dollar hangs from the rearview, and Ally feels as though Dad and Grandpa are there too. It starts to rain, so Travis... (full context)
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...Mr. Daniels walks into the hallway before whispering loudly to Jessica that yesterday, she saw Ally and Travis in a disgusting and run-down car. Ally tries to ignore the, but can't... (full context)
Chapter 21: Butterfly Wishes
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Mom makes Ally agree to go to Shay's party, even though Shay is mean and neither Albert nor... (full context)
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Ally arrives at the Butterfly Gardens for Shay's party. She notices girls from other classrooms as... (full context)
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Ally remembers Albert saying once that Native Americans believe that if a person caught a butterfly... (full context)
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The employee carefully picks up the hurt butterfly as Ally watches a mind movie of butterflies falling like rain. Suki comforts Ally by saying she... (full context)
Chapter 22: No Way to Treat a Queen
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Ally tries to call Albert later, but she gets a message that his number isn't in... (full context)
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...shirt and explains that she got a new sweater that's purple, the color of royalty. Ally doesn't know what to say, but Albert confirms that purple is a royal color. Shay... (full context)
Chapter 23: Words That Breathe
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...day that Mr. Daniels goes over new vocabulary words. It's not a bad lesson for Ally, since she can usually remember the words by making up mind movies. She explains to... (full context)
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Ally's not sure she actually wants to answer, but she feels like an expert on those... (full context)
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Mr. Daniels looks sad and Ally can barely remember what she even said. She hears Mr. Daniels saying her name, which... (full context)
Chapter 24: Imaginary Hero
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...he were Aquaman, he'd summon piranhas to take Shay away. Eventually, everyone gets to work. Ally loves that Albert can't choose a character, while Oliver wants to write about every superhero. (full context)
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The next day, Mr. Daniels calls Ally up to his desk. He's holding her paper and asks Ally to read it out... (full context)
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The next day, Ally is actually excited to present Roy G. Biv to the class. She takes out a... (full context)
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As Ally sits down, she hears Jessica ask Shay for another friendship bracelet. Ally pretends not to... (full context)
Chapter 25: Celebration or Devastation?
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...poems last week, he entered all of them in the first ever Fantastico Poetry Award. Ally hopes that Albert will win and watches Shay. As Mr. Daniels begins to announce the... (full context)
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Ally feels like the floor will swallow her and sees that the poem in his hand... (full context)
Chapter 26: Stalling
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Ally runs into a bathroom stall to hide. Keisha comes into the bathroom and asks why... (full context)
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Keisha says that she and Ally are friends, but this is nonsense and Ally is being foolish for saying these things.... (full context)
Chapter 27: Half-Baked Afternoon
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Keisha invites Albert and Ally to her house to help her test if cookie dough letters will work in her... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 28: Deal of a Lifetime
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As kids leave for lunch, Mr. Daniels calls Ally to his desk. He compliments her on her opinions and answers and says she has... (full context)
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His final question is if Ally knows what chess is and if she knows how to play. Ally knows what it... (full context)
Chapter 29: Fish in a Tree
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Ally's class gets off the bus to visit the Noah Webster House. Ally thinks it'll be... (full context)
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Ally ends up in a group with Albert and Shay and the guide takes them through... (full context)
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...talks about how Noah Webster developed the first American dictionaries and helped to standardize English. Ally thinks Webster was a jerk for doing so. The lady passes out slates and Ally... (full context)
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Ally runs until she finds a swing set that reminds her of Grandpa. Before too long,... (full context)
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Finally, Ally says that nobody's going to be able to help her because she's dumb. Mr. Daniels... (full context)
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...says that he's spoken to Mrs. Silver and Miss Kessler, and they'd like to give Ally some tests. The results will help them help her. Ally looks Mr. Daniels in the... (full context)
Chapter 30: Miserable King
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Two days later, Miss Kessler pulls Ally out of class and they go through some puzzles and games. After school, Ally has... (full context)
Chapter 31: Lots of Ways Home
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A week later when Ally stays after school, Mr. Daniels says he has news: Ally does have dyslexia, she's very... (full context)
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Ally thinks that she'd sleep at school if it'd help and agrees. They shake hands and... (full context)
Chapter 32: Screen Time
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When Ally leaves school later, Mom and Travis are waiting for her in the car—they're going to... (full context)
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Ally and Travis leave so that Mom and Dad can talk in private. Travis tells Ally... (full context)
Chapter 33: Possibilities
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Ally's afternoons with Mr. Daniels get easier because she's happy, but the work is hard. She... (full context)
Chapter 34: Birth of a Star
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After school a few days later, Keisha and Ally go to Albert's house. Ally still has "possible" in her pocket. Albert introduces his nervous... (full context)
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Ally looks around Albert's sparsely furnished room and the many science posters on his wall. She... (full context)
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Albert pauses and then says if nobody's perfect, then logically, Ally must be perfect. Keisha laughs and also tells Ally she's perfect. Albert says that he's... (full context)
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Albert asks Ally if she'd rather be in a tank with a killer whale or a stonefish. When... (full context)
Chapter 35: A Picture is Worth a Gazillion Words
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The next day at school, there's a sub. Ally thinks of how she can get out of class to go to the nurse as... (full context)
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Ally goes right to Mrs. Silver's office, where she asks Mrs. Silver to call Mom. Ally... (full context)
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That afternoon, Ally sits down at Petersen's and wonders what Mom will say about the phone call. Mom... (full context)
Chapter 36: In the Game of Life...
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The next morning, Mr. Daniels calls Ally into the hallway. He says that he never intended for the sub to single her... (full context)
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That afternoon as Ally and Mr. Daniels play chess, Ally thinks that Keisha is like a bishop—able to move... (full context)
Chapter 37: A Chicken, a Wolf, and a Problem
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...does Albert, and then Mr. Daniels lets the class work on it on their own. Ally asks to go into the hallway to escape the noise, though Jessica and Shay soon... (full context)
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Shay moves closer, tells Ally that she's stupid, and says that Mr. Daniels is only nice because he feels bad... (full context)
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...He says that regardless of how smart a person is, hard work is still important. Ally thinks that having trouble with something isn't the same as not being able to do... (full context)
Chapter 38: Loser for President
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...made it clear that any opponents will regret trying. Shay raises her hand and nominates Ally. Mr. Daniels tells Ally that she can say no, but he thinks she could run.... (full context)
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Ally sits at her dining room table, desperately wanting to ask Mom for help. She sees... (full context)
Chapter 39: To-Shay
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The next morning, Albert brushes off Keisha's questions about his new black eye and offers Ally a sign he made that reads, "Ally is your ally." He explains that Ally's name... (full context)
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Albert and Keisha give Ally one more pep talk and then, Mr. Daniels calls Shay to give her speech. Shay's... (full context)
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...voting isn't fair, Mr. Daniels says he'd like to make it like a real election. Ally has a lump in her throat as she writes her name. The class begs for... (full context)
 Chapter 40: Tears of Different Kinds
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Keisha and Albert call Ally Madam President all day. Ally is happy until the end of the day, when she... (full context)
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Ally runs into Petersen's and almost shouts that she won the election for class president. Mom... (full context)
Chapter 41: Not-So-Secret Letter
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When Ally wakes up the next morning, she knows immediately she's class president. She finds an envelope... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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As Ally prepares to board her bus, Shay and Jessica stomp over and ask if Ally got... (full context)
Chapter 42: The Gifts of No Excuses, Scotch Tape, and Antibiotics
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Mr. Daniels calls Ally to his desk to give her something. Ally is excited until she sees that it's... (full context)
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...dangerous, but Mr. Daniels insists that it'd be boring if people were all the same. Ally thinks that she'd like to be more like everyone else, but adds that she wouldn't... (full context)
Chapter 43: Set the World on Fire
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Because Keisha and Ally are bothered by all the teasing that Albert gets for his shirt, they make two... (full context)
Chapter 44: Tales of a Sixth Grade Something
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Travis drives Ally to school because her book report project, a diorama about Tales of a Fourth Grade... (full context)
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Max walks over to see what's going on, and Shay points out that Ally is making stuff up about the book she read. Ally explains that since most houses... (full context)
Chapter 45: My Brother's Question
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Ally draws pictures of talking cupcakes for Keisha's baking business. She thinks about how she still... (full context)
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Ally hears Travis chewing gum and tells him to chew quietly. Instead of firing back, he... (full context)
Chapter 46: Flying Tigers and Baby Elephants
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At lunch, Albert says he used to call Ally the Flying Tiger after pre-World War Two airplanes with shark teeth painted on the nose.... (full context)
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Ally asks if Albert has a nickname for himself. He does; he calls himself the Elephant.... (full context)
Chapter 47: Great Minds Don't Think Alike
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...Mr. Daniels says that Einstein was kicked out of school and couldn't tie his shoes. Ally remembers how she also struggled to tie her shoes. (full context)
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As the bell rings, Ally stays seated, looking at the pictures. She wonders if those people believed they were stupid.... (full context)
Chapter 48: Oliver's Idea of Lucky
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The next morning, Oliver asks Ally what it's like to have dyslexia. He wants to know if she sees things backwards.... (full context)
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Later, on the playground, Shay comes over and asks if Ally sees letter backwards. Ally now feels proud of her dyslexia, but it bugs her when... (full context)
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...stomps off, but her followers only follow her halfheartedly. Jessica even jogs back and tells Ally that dyslexia is cool, that Ally is a good artist, and that she's sorry for... (full context)
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Ally finds a wooden A on her desk. Suki explains that she carved it for Ally... (full context)
Chapter 49: I See the Light
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During break time, Ally watches her classmates. They're all occupied except for Shay, who's just sitting and watching. Oliver... (full context)
Chapter 50: A Hero's Job
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As Keisha, Albert, and Ally walk home, they hear a voice behind yelling for "brain" to wait up. Albert turns... (full context)
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Ally feels ready to cry as she thinks about all of Albert's bruises and the fact... (full context)
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At Petersen's, Albert seems taller and Keisha keeps acting out the fight. Ally pulls out her social studies homework and says that even says she only has to... (full context)
Chapter 51: C-O-U-R-A-GEnius
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Ally asks Mr. Daniels if she can renew her library book, which makes him extremely happy.... (full context)
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Mrs. Silver comes up behind Ally, puts her hands on Ally's shoulders, and asks her to keep going. Ally asks Mrs.... (full context)
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Ally hands over the envelope. Mrs. Silver laughs when she opens it, saying that the note... (full context)
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Ally stays after school waiting for Travis, who's driving her and her big project home. Seeing... (full context)
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Ally walks back to the gym and then hands Travis the piece of paper with "possible"... (full context)