All the Impossible Things, by Lindsay Lackey

All the Impossible Things, by Lindsay Lackey (middle grade, Roaring Brook Press, September 2019), is a story about a magical girl finding love, and it's heartwarming and sad and sweet, and a very good read.

Eleven-year-old Red (her real name's Ruby, but she's always been Red to her mom) has been in and out of various foster homes since her grandma's death a few years earlier.  She's driven off to her newest placement with no particular hopes that it will be any better than anywhere else, and since she's counting down the days (about a year's worth) till her mom gets out of prison and they can be together again, she has no interest in actually finding a home.

But the Grooves, an older couple who run a small petting zoo, welcome her with love, and the promise of home.  And when Red finds out her mom, whose drug addition is what landed her in jail and left Red with her Grandma, is out early, she's torn by her burning wish to be a happy family with her mom, and the happy family with the Grooves she could be part of....both of which might end up being impossible things.

When Red is angry or agitate, wind kicks up, and when Red must face her moment of reckoning, it gets out of hand....

It was a lovely story, with bonus giant tortoise and a pack of rescue dogs (kittens don't arrive till the end, which is too bad but better than never), and full of small details that made it all very real, like the new foster mother having put a small stack of books she herself loved in Red's bedroom (at which point, all of us book lovers know that this will be a good home for Red).  The central tension of the story is whether Red's mother will ever be able/be willing to make a home for read, and the heartbreak of this situation is vividly real, without making Red's mother into a villain or the Grooves into magical saviors.

Though there is this magic of Red's wind, which she inherited from her mom, and though it serves beautifully to amplify Red's feelings for the reader and to create moments of danger, it isn't actually essential to the story.  This would be a warm, heartful story to treasure even without this magic, but it adds a nice something extra....for those that don't mind the unexplained fantastical.

Kids who enjoy home finding stories will love it.

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