For MMGM, I am recommending Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.
Here's the publisher's description:
“Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” —Kirkus Reviews
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.
I really enjoyed this book! This book discusses a topic found in few books: dyslexia. The main character, Ally, has, but is not diagnosed with, dyslexia, making it hard for her to do schoolwork and even read a menu (as seen in one point in the book). As a relative of someone with dyslexia, I find the portrayal of Ally's symptoms and struggles very realistic. The book also discusses topics such as bullying (a girl named Shay relentlessly makes fun of Ally) and friendship (Ally befriends two kids, Keisha and Albert, who also deal with Shay). The characters in Fish in a Tree are fully fleshed out, from bullies and classmates to Ally's teacher, Mr. Daniels, who helps her overcome both her dyslexia and her shame because of it. In addition, the book strikes a perfect balance between happy and sad moments. All in all, Fish in a Tree is both a great description of dyslexia and an enjoyable read for anyone!
The summer Hattie turns 12, her predictable smalltown life is turned on end when her uncle Adam returns home for the first time in over ten years. Hattie has never met him, never known about him. He's been institutionalized; his condition involves schizophrenia and autism.
a shy girl who prefers the company of adults, takes immediately to her
excitable uncle, even when the rest of the family — her parents and
grandparents — have trouble dealing with his intense way of seeing the
world. And Adam, too, sees that Hattie is special, and that her quiet,
shy ways are not a disability.
It's hard to come up with an introductory sentence that describes just how amazing this book is. The main character, Hattie, is kind of shy and has only one friend, at least until she meets her uncle Adam. The author depicts Adam's mental illness in a realistic, yet non-insulting, way. Although you know he isn't exactly normal, he doesn't seem crazy. One of the book's major topics is being ashamed because of others, such as Adam's mother seeming somewhat horrified at her son, or another friend that Hattie makes during the summer whose mother works in a visiting carnival. Hattie is a likable main character who seems wise for her age. At the end of the book, something incredibly sad happens, but it is not relentlessly depressing. Although the book does have a somewhat adult moment and the sad occurrence mentioned previously, it is an incredibly beautiful book for everyone.