Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree

Ally's dad; he's the captain of a tank unit in the Army, though Ally never says where he's fighting. At the start of the novel, he's been deployed for about a year. Both Dad and Grandpa were avid coin collectors and passed their love of this hobby onto Ally and Travis. Dad talks about coins as being symbolic of change and the necessity of uniqueness. During the family's one Skype conversation with Dad, Dad appears to be very interested in his children's lives. He's supportive of Ally's new friends and her tutoring with Mr. Daniels, and he does his best to encourage Travis to keep trying despite the difficulties he's having at work.

Dad Quotes in Fish in a Tree

The Fish in a Tree quotes below are all either spoken by Dad or refer to Dad. 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 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
Explanation and Analysis:
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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
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dad Character Timeline in Fish in a Tree

The timeline below shows where the character Dad appears in Fish in a Tree. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: Triple-Sided Coin
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
Travis and Ally enter a pawnshop. It smells like old memories of Dad and Grandpa taking Travis and Ally out looking for coins. The salesman doesn't say hello... (full context)
Chapter 9: Bag Full of Nothing
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
...anything. Finally, Ally pulls a 1943 steel penny out of her pocket. She explains that Dad gave both her and Travis steel pennies when he was deployed, and says the pennies... (full context)
Chapter 20: Is This a Good Thing?
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
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 pulls over and jumps... (full context)
Chapter 32: Screen Time
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Chapter 44: Tales of a Sixth Grade Something
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
...explains that since most houses have art on the walls, she included a picture of Dad in his uniform. Max is excited to hear that Ally's dad drives a tank in... (full context)