You guys. This book. Don’t read it before bed. Don’t keep reading it hoping to get to a part where you’ll stop crying before you go to sleep. Just don’t.
Okay, but seriously, All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey is a piece of speculative fiction about a twelve year old foster kid who has a bit of an affinity with the wind. Red has been through a lot in her life. Her mother is in jail, her grandmother and primary caregiver is dead, and when her emotions get too much for her she has a tendency to cause storms. Her foster families don’t know about her magic, but they do know she’s trouble and she knows she’s unwanted.
The story begins when Red is being taken to a new foster home. I won’t go into too much detail as it will spoil the story, but I will highlight some of the things done well.
- Her foster dad is black, but that is mostly just mentioned in passing.
- Her caseworker is a genuinely good person who cares about her.
- The support family for the foster family are Hawaiian and their culture is very important to them.
- Red’s mom has a drug problem that doesn’t magically disappear.
- Lots of things go wrong. There is no magically happy ending, but there is hope.
- This quote: “Grief isn’t like anger. Anger can burn out. It can be released. But grief is something that becomes a part of you. And you either grow comfortable with it and learn how to live your life in a new way, or you get stuck in it, and it destroys you.”
I will hand this book over to my ten year old to read and she will love it, but it is a hard book. I am not kidding when I say I cried through half of it. It was raw and there was very little break from one moment to the next. Please read this before handing it to your child. It was oh, so good, though. We’ve needed more books like this for a long time, and I’m pleased they are starting to get published.