Global Read Aloud Poster Giveaway

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GLOBAL READ ALOUD, a bonafide international movement created by the fantastico, Pernille Ripp, is almost upon us! I cannot even TELL you how honored I am by this. By all of the readers who will be meeting Ally, Albert, Keisha and the others. I never take it lightly. I promise you that.

I wish I could visit EVERYONE! I also wish that I could respond to every Skype request with a YES! Unfortunately my schedule will just not allow for any more. However, I want kids everywhere to know that, although I can’t visit in-person, I am with them in spirit on this journey. So…

I will be posting Q&A videos pertaining to Fish in a Tree on each Thursday morning of Global Read Aloud. My first video will appear on Thursday, October 8th and will cover chapters 1-8. The other videos will follow each of the following five Thursdays to follow this GRA reading schedule.

Week of October 5:  Chapters 1 – 8

Week of October 12: Chapters 9 – 17

Week of October 19: Chapters 18 – 24

Week of October 26: Chapters 25 – 33

Week of November 2: Chapters 34 – 42

Week of November 9: Chapters 43 – end

The videos themselves (which will remain up permanently for future use) will be found both on and on my blog here:

I love the idea of getting questions from kids and picking some to answer, but my Fish in a Tree cover and badges POSTER 18 x 24schedule will not allow for that. As you’re reading, I may be flying over your school in an airplane! So, I will sit and record all of the videos prior to reading weeks and schedule them to appear throughout GRA. In addition, I WILL answer tweets from classes reading FIAT during GRA (although it may be at night).

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To enter:


THANK YOU for choosing FISH IN A TREE. For your Read Aloud choice! I am humbled, happy, and grateful.



Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , | 85 Comments

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85 thoughts on “Global Read Aloud Poster Giveaway

  1. Please post your questions for me HERE! I will choose some and answer them in videos for readers.

    • orchardgal

      How long did FISH IN A TREE take to write?

    • Michael Long

      I am currently reading FIAT with my class. I read it last spring with my class as well. I also have read it with my daughters and by myself. You could say I like the book. My question is about Shay. How do you come up with the ideas for an antagonist? Was there any inspiration behind her creation? She really bothers me and my students every time I read FIAT. You created a fantastic villain.

    • Denise Golden

      I love this book!!! I pushed this book to all my fellow teachers. Dyslexia is really hitting home with some of my students now. I loved the way this book made it okay to be different and shared that famous people have struggled, too. My questions is, when writing this book did you have a student with dyslexia or someone close to you struggle with it? I love when former teachers write books, because you can really relate to the characters. Thank you for FIAT and One For The Murphy’s (I pushed that book to my colleagues, too).

    • Monica Evon

      As a fourth grade teacher, I am always stressing the importance of editing and proofreading before publishing a piece of writing. Even after modeling this process, it is a difficult concept. What suggestions or tips do you have for students on editing and proofreading their writing? How much time was spent on this process when writing Fish in a Tree? Thanks so much!

    • What was a compliment you received that made you feel successful? Or, what did someone say to you that made you feel like you had reached the goal you set for yourself when becoming a writer?

    • Jillian Hicks

      I absolutely loved your book Fish in a Tree. It is beautifully written and very powerful. Ally and the rest of your characters are so believable and their struggles so universal. Have you considered writing a sequel to this novel ?

    • Melanee Vandermolen

      This is my first year being a part of the global read aloud, and I am so excited to read Fish in a Tree this year to my students! I am so inspired by Mr.Daniels, and it really affirmed for me why I get up and go to work every day. Thank-you for this story, and for such memorable characters.
      So many questions here are about you as a writer, and I’m curious about you as a reader. What are you reading right now, and which book or character has been memorable for you?

    • Something that keeps my students wondering all the time, and once again when dealing with FIAT. Why no images available? Why no characters´ pictures? Of course, I go for; “So that you make the picture in your mind. Feel free to view the story inside you…” Lynda, how would you meet this need of them to know why images are missing? I´ll appreciate an experienced writer like yuou to tell them. Thanks!

  2. In what ways do you best connect with the characters you created?

  3. Jessica Davis

    What was your inspiration for writing FISH IN A TREE?

  4. Allison Little

    Our class was talking about this book and we are so excited to read it. We were wondering how you came up with this idea for a book? Do you have someone close to you that went through a similar situation?

  5. Did you start writing the book knowing how things would turn out for Ally, or did you start writing her into a seemingly hopeless situation and then realize she needed Mr. Daniels and some true friends to turn things around? ❤

  6. Lisa Walbeck

    Did Ally come from a real person in your life or completely from your imagination?

    • Lisa Walbeck

      Not sure if my question is too similar to one asked above – so I’ll ask another. Did you have a teacher like Mr. Daniels?

  7. Mason Roulston

    Have you ever received a high five from a teacher like Ally does in chapter 14? This scene made me think of Ron Clark, one of the most energetic and outgoing teachers ever!

  8. We love a good problem and really enjoyed trying to figure out the code in chapter 47. We have grit and we think we got it, but for those that couldn’t figure it out, what does it say?

  9. In what ways are YOU like Mr. Daniels? How would you encourage teachers to embrace their Inner Mr. Daniels?

  10. Mathew Burkhart

    How many drafts did you have to write before FISH IN A TREE was published?

  11. Laura

    Ally and her brother have slipped through the cracks for so long. This story will help educators and students alike to be more aware of this issue. Did you base Mr. Daniels after a real life person? What a strong character.

  12. Sarah Lehman

    We just started the book today, so no questions yet. The kids are already hooked….they begged me to keep reading when I shut the book!

  13. Paul Orsino

    In what capacity did the “fish in a tree” quote inspire the text?

  14. Cori

    The poster says C. Connors, did she say that when she was in school, or come back as an adult. Also, how old does that make Carly from OFTM? Also, was the name Mr. Daniels inspired by Daniel in OFTM?

  15. Abbie Greer

    Was the use of coins and the idea of being worth something an idea you came up with before writing the plot, or did it happen organically?

  16. Rebecca

    If YOU could have an unlimited amount of any single object, what would it be? 🙂

  17. The allusion to One for the Murphys at the end of the book was such a neat surprise for those of us who had read it. Was it always in your plans to incorporate it or did it surprise you too? and perhaps could you explain a bit about why you decided to add it. Thanks!

  18. We referenced the Albert Einstien quote when we were just starting to decide what book to read and we were researching the choices. The students wonder, did you hear the quote and then decide to write a book with Ally being the fish that can’t climb or did the title come after the story?

    • Someone asked a similar question before I could hit submit…here’s another. What advice would you give to students who have learning differences, but don’t ever meet a teacher like Mr. Daniels. Grit and perseverance only take you so far, and let’s face it, not everyone gets a Mr. Daniels. Travis never did…

  19. Keisha and Albert are very strongly defined characters, were they inspired by childhood friends?

  20. Alicia Yrle

    What was the thought process behind having Ally’s brother have dyslexia?

  21. Thank you, All! Great questions 🙂 Keep ’em coming!!! Almost done….

  22. Mr. Daniel is an inspiring teacher. Was his character based on a teacher you had or wish you would have had in school?

  23. Darlene Daley

    Ally’s Sketchbook of Impossible Things plays a recurring role in the story. Why do you think the author chose to make this object such an important part of the story?

  24. Julie Kirchner

    There are little glimpses early on that Mr. Daniels sees an amazing, and intelligent side of Ally. What does he specifically notice that makes him realize Ally learns differently and he sees her possible when she only sees the impossible?

  25. Rina Hoge

    I often wonder what kind of background work is done to write a story that deals with topics that affect the success of our students in school. Did you need to do a fair amount of research to write about Ally’s dyslexia? Did you consult professionals on this learning disability?

  26. Emily Curry

    My students are always talking about a certain part of their book that is their favorite. Do you have a favorite part of this book? If so, why is it your favorite? Another question that comes to mind is not specific to Fish in a Tree, but more of your writing career! We are discussing how writers get their ideas and how writers become published authors in our classroom. Have you always had a passion for writing even in elementary school?

  27. Where did the inspiration for a “Sketchbook of Impossible Things” come from? Was this something you created as a child to escape the real life?

  28. Alli Beck

    Albert was intriguing to my class! Did you do any prior research into his character or was he inspired by someone?

  29. What was the most difficult part about writing “Fish in a Tree?” What do you do if you have ever experienced writers block?

  30. Miss Hamp

    How did you decide to allow Mr. Daniels be so candid about Ally and her special ability? As a special education teacher myself, I marveled at how open and honest he was about learning differences with his students!

  31. Christie

    Have you ever felt the way Ally did when she was asked to read the poster, but wasn’t able to? How do you connect with her?

    What is your favorite book you have written?

  32. I now plan to do a special video JUST for teachers to answer questions that teachers would be interested in but not the kids 🙂 I can be a bit more forthcoming with all of you 🙂

    • I love this idea! Thanks for the poster offer and for being so accessible for all of us. It really makes a difference to the students when they know the author exists in real life and isn’t just living in an ivory tower!

  33. One more minute!!!

  34. Zelia

    When we begin to read the book FIAT, it will be paralleled with discussions in our school focussing in “voice”. Whose voice is most heard in your book and whose would you want to further develop?

  35. Okay. I have 50 posters to sign and envelopes to address thus far. I think that’s enough for tonight. But as Arnold says, “I’ll be BACK!” THANK YOU ALL!! Great questions 🙂 Going to take the contact form down now…

  36. Kamla

    How many versions (editing) did your book FIAT go through before it was published? Also, did you prefer to write papers & pencil or typing your book thru the writing stages?

  37. Robin Jubinville

    Love your books and I can’t wait to share them with my 5th grade “fantasticos”. There are so many great questions here!! I’m wondering what advice you would give to someone considering being a substitute teacher?

  38. Nancy Jackson

    Love the book so far! I keep mentioning it to my class, they can’t wait to get started. I actually have several kids that this book will hit home with. Which chapter did you enjoy writing the most and why?

  39. Who or what inspired you to write about a character like Ally? With class sizes so large in public schools, it seems there’s an Ally in every classroom. It’s way too easy for a sweet, quiet girl to slip through the cracks. FIAT reminds us that helping students figure out how they learn best is critical.

  40. I have loved both of your books as a reader, as well as a writer! One of the questions that comes to my mind as a writer, as well as teaching writing to middle school, we would love to hear your process as a whole when writing a novel from start to finish. I think as students they have a hard time conceiving of what it takes from inspiration to publication. Can you describe the process that you go through when writing a book? When you revise, so you revise by sections/chapters? Is it after you completely finish a draft of the entire novel? Thank you for your amazing books and all you give to the students and educators that enjoy your books!

  41. I want to know if you ever got your Izod shirt? 🙂

    • HA! Love this! I bought one with my own money in the sixth grade and washed it at night by hand so I could wear it three times a week. Come to think of it, Albert and I would have connected on the shirt thing 🙂

  42. How did you come up with the idea for Travis to solve his wiper problems? Did you actually test that out or is it something you have seen being used before? It was a very interesting solution.

  43. Ashlyn Terpstra

    My kids love the concept of mind movies! As you write your books do you see the events happening in mind movies yourself?

  44. Thank you for this amazing story. Ally and her friends, along with Mr. Daniels, have not left me since I finished FIAT. I blogged about its impact over the summer, and I can’t wait to share it with my third graders for the GRA! During Writing Workshop, one of our greatest resources is mentors like you. Which mentors do you turn to when you are looking for inspiration and ways to improve your craft?

  45. I imagine when writing a book you become attached to your characters. How do you feel upon completing your books? Do you continue to think about your characters or are you ready to say good-bye them. Do you envision them returning to the pages one day in another story?

  46. Ashley Buchta

    Excited to read Fish to my classes! We are wondering if you used the title, Fish in a Tree, from the start or did the book have an alternate title that you didn’t use?

  47. I introduced the GRA to my school and the wonderful teachers I work with couldn’t wait to become involved with this project. Grades 3-5 are using Fish in a Tree!! You have written an amazing story, with an amazing theme that is appropriate for students that span 3 grade levels! My third graders and I often ponder the question, “Which came first, the reader or the writer?” We debate this question all the time and we have yet to come to a final conclusion. With that being said, what authors or books have inspired you?

  48. Thanks for doing the videos; I’m sure that will up the engagement with my students. This is a question I know they will be curious about…
    Did you ever struggle with learning difficulties? If so, how were you able to overcome these to be an author? If not, how are you able to portray characters in a way that makes it so realistic for us to read?

  49. I can’t wait to start reading FIAT and then start the GRA. This will be my second GRA. I currently have a student has slight dyslexia and possible Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. We are still trying to figure out her reading and processing difficulties. Your book seems like it will really hit home with her. I was wondering if when you are coming up with ideas for books, what part of the process takes the most time and what is do think is the difference with revision and editing in the writing process? Thanks and I look forward this awesome event! -Shawn Ross @mrrossperris

  50. Rebecca Bearinger Fay

    Lynda, we already follow you on Twitter. Please follow our class @mrs_fays_class so we can direct message you and be part of poster contest!

    We are reading starting in October on the #GRA schedule. Just checking that this will be the timing for your poster contest, not right now!

  51. My class loved loved loved your book One for the Murphys, and were super excited for Fish in A Tree (title not revealed until today when I started reading it). It is already resonating with some of my class members.One of my boys asked me though, if I thought that you would ever write a book where the main character is a boy?? Have you given this any consideration and is your aim in writing to connect with readers who would otherwise struggle to be accepted?

  52. Pingback: Global Read Aloud Poster Giveaway | toecurling

  53. Craig Yen

    Thank you so much Lynda for your support of educators. You are amazing for being so giving of your time. (Plus you’ve written a great book that I’m excited to share with the class during GRA15!)
    I’m sure the students will come up with a whole bunch of great questions.

  54. Louise Brooks

    We are currently writing narratives and one particular student who is a prolific writer becomes frustrated when I tell her she needs to cull and refine her writing. Her comment is ‘But how can you say goodbye to the thoughts you have put on paper?’ What advice can you share with her? It meant something when you wrote it – how do you ‘say goodbye’? (Twitter handle @lobroo)

  55. Molly Calder

    I noticed FIAT connected well to Patricia Polacco’s Thank You, Mr. Falker; did you do this on purpose?

  56. My question for Fish in a Tree is to ask the children if they have ever felt like they were not smart and why. or if they ever experienced a “mean girl” and how did that girl make them feel.

    I am looking forward to your videos each week and plan to use them!

  57. As a current elementary library who couldn’t read until high school, I related with Ally’s struggles and frustration. Although similar questions were asked, did you personally struggle with dyslexia? I had the pleasure to meet Patricia Pollaco who struggled and over came because of a teacher. Was the title inspired by Einstine because he was dyslexic?

  58. How did you come up with the inspiration for the character of Ally’s brother? Loved his grit and love for Ally!

  59. Kelly

    I love the science experiment with the boxes. We will be doing that next week prior to our reading of FIAT. Where did the idea come from to show Ally she was not dumb?

  60. Jacqui's Journey

    What a great idea for celebrating FIAT and GRA! My question is a compare/contrast question that would relate 2 separate book characters, Albert and Brian (The Invisible Boy -Trudy Ludwig.) After reading The Invisible Boy, a picture book story of a boy who feels invisible, and reading FIAT pages 96-100, my question is:
    What type of friendship would Brian and Albert develop if they were in the same story? How could they help each other cope with the social pressures at school? How could Ally’s Sketchbook of Impossible Things and Brian’s superhero drawings impact others?

  61. Kasey

    I absolutely loved FIAT! I felt the friendship between Ally, Albert and Keisha was organic and inspiring. Many of our students feel like they are from the island of misfit toys. Did you feel that way as a child? And did you have friends that stuck up for you like the three of them? What advice do you have for kids who feel they don’t belong? Thank you!

  62. Chapter 3 – What would be your first entry if you had a “Sketchbook of Impossible Things”? Why would you choose that? What makes it impossible? How could you make it possible?

    My class is really looking forward to GRA! We will be Tweeting at you every week!

  63. Sandy Wisneski

    How can teachers model their own struggles with students? Looking forward to sharing your book with my classes?

  64. Dawn

    Poster please….for a librarian who has been so busy with book fair- just put up a special display with OFTM for our NC Battle of the Books, then multitasked over to circulation desk to check out our last copy of Fish In a Tree to an 8th grader!!! Now realizing the poster giveaway may be closed:((( I will make a connection for teachers that I think FIAT would be a great companion read with Because of Mr. Terrupt…..must read for educators and upper elementary!

  65. What is your favourite activity to do when you are having difficulties writing, or stuck getting past a point and need something to distract you?

  66. Linda, I love this book. I can picture your writing this, but have a few questions, As you thought about this story, did you envision yourself as one character, or through the eyes of several characters? I can picture myself through Ally’s eyes, but also from the perspective of her brother, and lately as a parent of students who may struggle at times, through they eyes of her mother.

  67. Sally Erickson

    With so many state mandated tests, kids get labels based on intelligence whether we, as teachers, agree with it or not. How do we help kids realize their potential is so much more than a test score? Tests don’t show creativity, compassion, respectful behavior, athleticism, etc. Yet, they are continually given labels and kids such as Ally, with dyslexia, are almost knocked down before given their chance to shine. This question might very well be rhetorical, but one I have anyway.

  68. Kellie

    I liked the way Mr. Daniels incorporated the game of chess into his after school time with Ally as a strategy to help her believe in herself and feel successful and I loved how Ally saw herself and her classmates in the game itself. Did you play chess as a child and did it help you look at problems in different ways? Why did you choose to have them play chess in the book?

  69. Hi Lynda, so excited about being a part of GRA again. Your book touched me, and I know it will touch many of my students. It really sent me into the new year with a new outlook on how I may respond to some of my students. I think every teacher needs to read “Fish in a Tree.” Also, thanks to Donors Choose, each of my kids has their own copy! YEAH!

  70. As I finished reading the book, I was moved to tears. I wonder if Ally’s brother will be as successful as she was.

  71. We LOVED Fish in a Tree! I had several TEACHERS read this book over the summer. Our question is how did the teacher approach the child and make her confident in him without making her feel inadequate? What was your inspiration/view behind diligently writing this particular incident?

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