Fish in a Tree

Grandpa Character Analysis

Ally's maternal grandfather; he's been dead for about a year at the start of the novel. He loved collecting coins and also loved Alice in Wonderland. Ally has his old copy of the book, which has large print and she hopes to read one day. She named her sketchbook the Sketchbook of Impossible Things after Alice in Wonderland. Ally thinks about her grandfather often. He was a wise man who was very involved in his grandchildren's lives, and he also moved with Ally's family whenever Dad was reassigned.

Grandpa Quotes in Fish in a Tree

The Fish in a Tree quotes below are all either spoken by Grandpa or refer to Grandpa. 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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Grandpa Character Timeline in Fish in a Tree

The timeline below shows where the character Grandpa appears in Fish in a Tree. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Bird in a Cage
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
...card was a sympathy card. Mom laughs and compliments Ally's napkin drawing. She says that Grandpa would be proud of how hard Ally is working on her art, and that he'd... (full context)
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 and doesn't... (full context)
Identity and Self-Esteem Theme Icon
...outside the shop. Travis explains that both coins were minted in 1933, the year of Grandpa's birth. As they get in the car, Travis says that the salesman tried to rip... (full context)
Chapter 7: No Grandpas Here
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
...night Ally sits on her bed, holding the old copy of Alice in Wonderland that Grandpa gave her. Though the print is bigger than usual, Ally still can't read it. She... (full context)
Chapter 11: Scrambled Egg
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Bullying, Friendship, and Social Status Theme Icon
...figure out what to say. The silence grows long and awkward, and Ally remembers how Grandpa always knew what to say. (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 out. He... (full context)
Chapter 29: Fish in a Tree
Dyslexia, Intelligence, and Learning Theme Icon
Teaching, Mentoring, and Trust Theme Icon
Ally runs until she finds a swing set that reminds her of Grandpa. Before too long, she notices Mr. Daniels's feet in front of her. He asks if... (full context)