Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group: New York, NY
Awards: Schneider Family Book Award 2016
Themes: Disabilities, Bullying, Friendship, Investment
Summary: Ally has a secret. A BIG secret. She doesn’t want anyone to know. She makes a bad mistake and has to go to the principals office, but she doesn’t understand why. Ally is in a class with a new teacher and she tries to keep her secret, but he seems to understand her. He’s always nice and makes her feel good about herself. Through her good times and through her struggles, Ally learns a lot about herself and her peers. She realizes that everyone has a secret and wants them to overcome like she does.
Response: What was the main problem that the main character faces? How is this problem similar to a problem that most children have faced before? In what way could elementary children relate to this character?
Ally, the main character, faces the problem of having a severe reading disability called dyslexia. This problem is similar to many children who have a disability, whether that is in reading, math, or another area. This story is great for elementary children to explore the theme of bullying and friendship. The diverse group of students in the story are similar to that of a real classroom, so children will be able to relate to similar situations. Children will also be able to reflect on their own story and ‘secrets’.