All the Impossible Things

Roaring Brook. Sept. 2019. 384p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250202864.
Gr 4-6–Red has a secret she wants to keep—she has the ability to affect the wind with her emotions, a trait she inherited from her mother. Red has become a pawn inside the foster care system, and anger and fear create unpredictable storms that she cannot control. Her mother attempts to pull her life together and become a fit parent as she struggles with drug addiction. As a rotating cast of adults move through Red’s life and she is shuttled from one family to the next, her sole constant seems to be her social worker, Ms. Anders. That is, until Red is placed with the Grooves, her fifth foster stop in under three years. The couple own a petting zoo and seem to genuinely care for Red, who is conflicted by the growing love she feels for her foster mom and her desire to reunite with her birth mother. Determined to help her mother regain custody at an upcoming hearing, Red works on a special project with her new friend Marvin to prove that just because something is hard, it doesn’t mean it is impossible. Excerpts from the notebook Red keeps for the project are peppered throughout the novel.
VERDICT This middle grade tale reads like realistic fiction with a supernatural twist as Red’s wind spirals and brews literal storms. Lackey tackles difficult topics including addiction and loss with infinite gentleness. Recommended for fiction collections.

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