All the Impossible Things


This is a four Wow story. Wow Wow Wow Wow.

Okay folks, this is a story about one tough cookie.  Ruby "Red" Byrd has lived eleven years of awful.  Her mother had her at age nineteen and was already on the road to drug addiction.  Red's Gamma raised her and hung on for her even while she went through chemo for her cancer, wretched on the bathroom floor and finally wasted away to bits and pieces of herself.

Red has spent years in foster care.  She knows all about things that aren't fair.  Now, her social worker, Ms. Anders is on her way to pick Red up again.  Red isn't sorry to leave this place.  She's had enough pinching and pain.  So, where will Ms. Anders be taking Red this time?  What kind of darkness and injustice are waiting for her?

But, when Ms. Anders turns the car into the drive of this family, she's taking Red to meet Celine and Jackson Groove.  They run a petting zoo complete with a wily donkey and a steadfast tortoise.  This home is going to be different.

Turns out this might be a place where Red can figure out how she is going to make the impossible become possible.  She's determined to find her way back to her lost mom.  She's going to be with the mother who loved her infinity plus one.

This is the journey of a foster child who is a survivor.  It's about an eleven-year old girl who is trying to figure things out and trying to get the love she needs so much.

This is also a story about magical powers.  Red has an ability to conjure wind and it comes out of her with a force when she's angry. It's a force that can destroy.  Celine, her foster mother, has a unique ability  which has a very special strength.  Anyone who has enough life experience to be holding some pain will recognize the power of that wind and the feelings that are driving it.  Anyone who has that painful life experience will want to soak up what Celine has to share. It's a healing thing and it's time has come for Red.

This is a story about the power of pain that children hold inside.  It's a story about betrayal and the hope that children hold onto no matter what their parents do to them.   It's a story about what it's like to be hanging on by a thread and never giving up the hope that love is possible and that the stuff you are made of, no matter how life has tried to bring you down, that stuff is good enough and you get to feel it and know it and set your path in the direction of your own special miracle.

This is also a story about families where life is rich and caring and filled with giving good things to the world.

There is an authenticity to this story that will connect with every heart, no matter what age, that has known a journey of abuse and abandonment and deep grief.  You are going to feel like you live next door to Red and Celine and Jackson and you are going to be rooting for them like nobody's business.  Prepare to walk the walk in their shoes and that walk is not easy.

A gritty treasure of a book that may be the hand that is held, the hug that finally came, for thousands of children who know something about this kind of pain.  Well done.  Well done.  Much needed.

384 pages 978-1250202864 Ages 9-13

Keywords: resilience, survival, mother/daughter, family, foster child, abuse, foster family, love, trust, loss, grief, betrayal, child abuse, determination, hope

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


A bit of magic, a sprinkling of adventure, and a whole lot of heart collide in All the Impossible Things, Lindsay Lackey's extraordinary middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs.

Red’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can’t figure out how.

This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red’s heart.

But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she’s quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother’s chaos. Now Red must discover the possible in the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.--from the publisher

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