We’ve all dealt with people who subscribe to the philosophy of “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.” In fact, most of us have taught those children at least once (Let’s be real, MANY TIMES!) in our teaching careers. Additionally, we’ve all worked with students who taunt others just to get a rise out of them, right? Challenging doesn’t even begin to describe the situation when there’s more than one of those kinds of students in a classroom. We need books to help us initiate conversations with our students about the injustice of these real-life situations.
Enter Ugly Fish, a book by Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon, dedicated to the subject of bullying. Knowing many kids think it’s cool to be cruel to others, the story of Ugly Fish was born. The main character in the book is an ugly, big, and mean fish (See the images below for evidence of his not-so-nice attitude.) who enjoys swimming, but considers his turf his and therefore teases and chases other away other fish who get in his way. However, one day he becomes lonely and begins to feel remorseful about the things he’s done to the other fish. A new fish, named Shiny Fish, meets Ugly Fish. Since I don’t like spoilers, let’s just say that Ugly Fish gets what’s coming to him by the end of the book.
Ugly Fish uses the power of three to convey make readers understand the kind of fish (i.e., character) that Ugly Fish is. The main character is not a person, but thanks to incredible personification in this book, he feels human. Additionally, the book has a very satisfying ending for any kid who has ever been tormented by a bully. Therefore, it can serve as an excellent mentor text for any student who is writing about bullying.
Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for agreeing to sponsor a giveaway of Ugly Fish.
To win a copy of the book please leave a comment about this post, in the comments section of this post by Friday, November 26th by 11:59 p.m. EST A random drawing will take place on Tuesday, November 30th and the winner’s name will be announced in a blog post later that day.
Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment (Your e-mail address will not be published online.) so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address. Once I receive your mailing address, I’ll pass it along to my contact in the marketing department at Harcourt who will ship a copy of the book out to the winner.
Permissions: Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.