cover image All The Impossible Things

All The Impossible Things

Lindsay Lackey. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-20286-4

Eleven-year-old Ruby “Red” Byrd is skeptical when her kindly social worker takes her to live with new foster parents in tiny Bramble, Colo. Jackson and Celine Groove, an older interracial couple, immediately open their hearts to Red, though, and she is drawn to their petting zoo of rescue animals, especially their 400-pound tortoise, Tuck. And gregarious Marvin, who is Hawaiian and the son of Red’s respite caregivers, determines to befriend her. But she longs for her mother, who has been in prison for three years following an episode with pill addiction that left Red to fend for herself. Then her mother is released early, creating a literal storm for Red, whose roiling emotions can affect the wind. She longs to control this chaotic power, which infuses magic realism into Lackey’s charming, bittersweet debut. Included throughout are heartbreaking glimpses of Red’s life before her mother’s arrest, as well as Red’s letters to her mom, and readers will ache for her as she struggles to reconcile her affection for the Grooves with her fierce love for her troubled mother. Lackey’s compassionately drawn story ponders hope, grief, and found family, warming the heart while avoiding an overly neat conclusion. Ages 8–12. [em](Sept.) [/em]