My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 5th, 2015
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Learning Disabilities, Bullying, Education
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.
I don’t see why this book shouldn’t be read by every single middle schooler out there. Young adults also. And why not adults as well, it is pretty captivating. No one should keep themselves from reading it because of their age.
Because it explores such timeless and important themes. I wish there was a book like this one when I was in middle school. I remember well having a really hard time the last year, and this would have helped a lot.
Ally isn’t alone, but she does feel lonely. Even in a room full of people—full of her classmates, the people she’s known for years—she doesn’t feel like there’s anyone on her side. Until Mr. Daniels arrives, replacing Mrs. Hall who is having a baby. Mr. Daniels cares deeply about his students, and when he sees Ally struggling, he tries to help her as best he can.
Unfortunately, I have to admit I’ve never in my life had a teacher like Mr. Daniels, but it doesn’t mean the teachers I did have were any less inspiring. To me he is the epitome of dedication and patience. He truly is the perfect teacher. Actually, he’s also impossible to dislike. He refrains from judging anyone and teaches his students important life lessons. And his cheerfulness is invigorating!
This is a very educative book. You’ll learn new words, new facts, how to make new friends, how to deal with bullying and enemies, why giving up should never be an option, how different doesn’t mean crippled… and many other things. I appreciated the educational parts, even if they were rather head-on, since I personally learned things I never knew about and I’m 19.
If it were up to me, I’d make this book a mandatory reading in middle school. Vote Lola?
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