Dragging a class, kicking and screaming, through a full novel study can be as much fun as teaching a duck to herd cats. It can be a very tricky balancing act to find a novel that is not only interesting to both boys and girls, but also contains the necessary topics and depth of literary content to be of educational value. Well, in my humble opinion, I found just the perfect novel for the job – Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. The novel tells the story of a year 6 student who faces difficulties and challenges, particularly at school. However, her journey becomes an inspiration to readers and, just as important to me, the literary content provides so much material to help move the students forward with their reading and comprehension skills. It’s too difficult to list all the work we’ve done on this great novel, particularly with our study of symbolism, so if you’re a parent please discuss this post with your child. Below are some images of the students working in their groups to develop detailed character maps from the novel.