about the book
Ally Nickerson has attended seven schools in seven years. At each of them, she’s spent more time in the principal’s office than in class.
Why? To hide her secret.
By making herself a troublemaker, Ally’s avoided revealing that she can’t read. She’s great at math and art, but words don’t make any sense.
But her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, isn’t fooled. He sees the bright, creative kid that’s hiding underneath the troublemaker. Will he be able to help Ally see her own potential and learn that dyslexia is not something to be ashamed of?
Lynda Mullaly Hunt was a “flower child” born in the late sixties. She never dreamed of being a writer, although she wrote constantly. The youngest of five children, she was more into skateboarding, climbing trees, and riding her dill-pickle-green banana-seated bicycle!
At one point in her childhood, several things happened in her family. One of the worst was the death of her almost four-year-old brother, Michael Eric. To express how she felt, she started to write songs. Through writing, she became aware that she was becoming a better observer and was gaining new perspectives about the people and events in her life. She discovered a lot about herself as well. The songs she wrote became the seeds for her first books.
Lynda earned two degrees in education from the University of Connecticut and went on to become a teacher, working mainly with at-risk children. She had one very favorite assignment. She would write a story with plenty of errors and then give her students a copy and a red pen. She relished her students digging deep to find every flaw—and the kids really enjoyed giving her the big red F’s!
After leaving teaching, Lynda became a full time writer and the co-director of the SCBWI-NE Whispering Pines Retreat for writers. Though writing is hard, she says that she would go nuts if she couldn’t write. Her characters keep talking to her and she just has to get them out of her mind and down onto the paper!
Lynda lives with her childhood sweetheart/husband, son and daughter, an impetuous beagle, and a beagle-hating cat in Hartford, Connecticut.
Also by Lynda Mullaly Hunt:
One for the Murphys. Nancy Paulsen Books. 2012.
Two-Minute Drill (Comeback Kids) by Mike Lupica
At his new school, super-smart Scott tries out for the football team—but he’s not great on the field. As he struggles to fit in, his luck changes when football-star Chris comes to Scott with a secret. He may be a cool, sixth-grade quarterback, but Chris is having a hard time with reading…and if he doesn’t pass the state reading test, he’s off the team! Can the boys teach and train each other so they can both play and pass their classes?
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
After being placed with the Murphys, a foster family, Carley feels out of place and decides to keep her distance. Gradually, however, she learns to look at the Murphys as a real family, and even considers a future with them—until sudden news from her mother throws her entire world into uncertainty.
The Wild Book by Margarita Engle
Josefa struggles with dyslexia, called “word blindness” in the early 1900s. She also has what she calls “word hunger.” She desperately wants to read, but her condition makes the words seem to jump off the pages. Then her mother gives her a simple, blank book, what she calls “the Wild Book,” with plain white pages for Josefa to write on however she wants.