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All the Impossible Things

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  252 reviews
A 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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,062 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Many books falsely present themselves as a good fit for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish, but All the Impossible Things is the real deal. Meaning, if you’re looking for a book to tear your heart from your chest, rend it through storm winds, and return it battered and bruised, then this is the book for you.

A tearful, heartfelt, hope-filled tale of an eleven-year-old girl navigating the foster care system in search of a place to call home. Lackey’s soaring debut reminds us that family can be fou
Laurie –Read Between The Skylines–
“When darkness closes in, though, the stars shine brightest.”

I received an ARC of All the Impossible Things at BookExpo, this in no way impacts my review. However, my review is based on an unfinished and uncorrected copy, please note that the story and quotes may differ from the final book.

The tenth and last book of my '10 books in 3 weeks' project

4.2 stars

Ruby “Red” Byrd is eleven-year-old and yet at her young age, she has already dealt with more than most adults. Born to a teenage sing
Amber Hyde
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
4/5 Stars.

Oh the tears! This was really well done. I felt the struggles of each character and the trials and tribulations that families go through in regards to fostering children. I highly recommend everyone read this book.

YA and up.
Shaye Miller
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another one of those "why have I not heard more about this book" moments. Because, while this was Lackey's debut novel, it was quite good and discussed an important topic that is often overlooked in middle grade literature. Ruby (AKA Red) is being moved from one foster home to another one. She knows not to get her hopes up -- her life is what it is and she'll never feel settled. But her backstory is quite painful and we have constant flashback memories to explain why her mom is in jail a ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the Impossible Things is a beautiful story about family, different kinds of love, healing from trauma, and the foster care system, all with a dash of magical realism. Red has been bounced from foster home to foster home for the past two years, some of them abusive, while her mother serves a drug-related prison sentence. She is seen as a trouble maker who destroys things with her out of control wind magic. (The magic in this book is used as a stand-in for emotional responses and is a beautifu ...more
Clare O'Connor
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS is one of the best middle-grade books I’ve ever had the privilege of reading.

The book follows the story of 11-year-old Ruby (who goes by the nickname Red).

Red is dealing with a whole lot of hard stuff: grandmother's death, mother in prison, and having been shuttled in and out of some pretty awful foster homes. Through it all, Red keeps a secret: her emotions impact the wind. She can create a wild and dangerous storm!

We meet Red as she is leaving one foster home and b
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who wouldn't want to visit the Groovy Petting Zoo and watch Fezzik the donkey feed the chickens? I also fell in love with Tuck the tortoise. The rescue animals surrounding Red in her new foster placement brought healing for her and value to the narrative. What took away from the book was the strange powers Red, her mom and Celine had. I realize that for Red it was a depiction of her frustration from losing and leaving; from being tossed about like an old shoe at times. It was difficult to determ ...more
Kristi Wright
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feeling All the Love for ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

I’m so in love with All the Impossible Things. This is a truly special, beautifully written middle grade novel—both poignant and super hopeful. MC Ruby “Red” is relatable, resilient and brave, and currently stuck in the foster system while her single-mom attempts to get her act together. Red’s added complication is that her emotions affect the wind, which means when she’s upset, she might just cause a tornado! I fell in love with all the charact
Ms. Yingling
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Red has been in the foster care system for three years, after the death of her grandmother and the arrest of her mother for drug possession. She has been in several foster care placements, and has a caring case worker, Ms. Anders, who tries to help as much as she can. When her latest placement doesn't work out, she ends up being placed with the Grooves, an older couple who run a petting zoo with rescued animals. They are kind, helpful, and don't presume that Red w
Sara Codair
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alright, so I’m back to that middle grade reading spree! Granted, it hasn’t felt like much of a spree yet since this is only the third middle grade book I’ve read this summer…

Spree or not, I received a free copy of All the Impossible Things from Netgalley and read the whole thing in one night.

The first thing I want to say is that I want to meet Gandalf the dog and give her treats and play fetch and be her friend. Really, I want to meet and befriend all the animals.

Second, this book was beautiful
Kate O'Shaughnessy
Oh, this book. Oh, my heart.

I really, really, really loved this book.

This exquisitely written debut details 11-year-old Red's journey through the foster care system. Beyond bouncing around from home to home, Red is also dealing with something else: she can control the wind, a power she inherited from her bio mom. Though more often than not, the wind controls Red.

This book is full of special characters and animals I fell in love with: there's a prank-playing donkey, a 400-lb tortoise who loves b
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lindsay Lackey's 'All the Impossible Things' is a delightful, entertaining read. I really enjoyed the characters of Red, Jackson, Celine, Marvin and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kapule as well as his grandparents, Ms. Anders, Tuck, Gandalf and the other critters. Wanda was a good antagonist, I was glad she did the sensible thing...
I think, aside from all the critters, Marvin was my fave. He was sweet, endearing, and a little nerdy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a qu
Catherine Perkins
What a beautiful story! I loved the way the power of the wind symbolized the grief and anger Red felt through her journey with losing her Gamma and being separated from her mother. I think that this is a perfect middle school read especially for students who are going through their own sort of loss.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am full of emotions and tears of joy.
Triana (bibliomaniacism)
Shout out to Macmillan for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book is so amazing!!!! Definitely one of my favorite middle-grade novels out there.

I loved this book so much. The story was so raw, and the way it dealt with so many hard topics was terrific.

The main character(Red) is so great, she's an incredible kid who has been through so much! Her relationships with the people around her are so interesting, and the way they change throughout the book is fantastic.

The foster pa
Dec 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm truly sorry, but I have to rate this book one star.
All the Impossible Things sounded like a good idea- but once again, unrealistic themes in here ruined the book.
Hear me out.
Foster care systems are NOT like this. I have had MUCH experience with this, and this is my conclusion:
The foster mom in this book said lots of things that the Child Care Services don't allow you to say- you can get in serious trouble for not following the rules, and even though she was saying good things, I repeat. You
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly beautiful addition to the middle grade canon that should go next to classics like The Thing About Jellyfish, The War That Saved My Life, and Because of Winn Dixie-it's that good. Red is eagerly counting down the days until her mother is released from prison so she can get out of the foster system. When she arrives at her new home, however, Red is surprised to find kindred spirits in her caretakers, neighbors, and the animals of their petting zoo. Torn between newly found happiness and th ...more
Kim Tomsic
Beautifully written story. Somethings things are hard--but NOT impossible!
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lackey's heart-warming book is rooted in its rich characters and deftly captures how trauma can affect young people and just how powerful some patience and unconditional love can be. Would make a great family read!
Ginger (Sproutygamer)
Soooo good!
Barbara Zannini
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lindsay-lackey
This is an excellent read! I could not put it down. Nothing is impossible...just hard.
Melissa Adamo
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the Impossible Things is an absolute MUST read!!

While it is a middle grade book, it is so wonderfully written that people of all ages will love this story. I'm 30 years old, and as soon as I picked this book up I was so fully immersed I couldn't put it down.


All the Impossible Things focuses around Ruby Byrd, otherwise known as "Red," an 11-year-old girl living in foster care. Red has experienced more things in her childhood than most people do in a lifetime. She was born to a teen
Brianna - Coffee Books and Bullet Journals
Who is cutting onions around here???? 😭😭😭 full review to come but so beautiful
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, giveaways
It's hard to say who should be the target for this book. Technically its marked as a story for middle grade but its pretty apparent that it has an ambition to be for all ages. So there are elements that I enjoyed as an adult (well executed psychology of the characters) and I would probably enjoy when I was 12 (raging pathos, everything focuses on the main character). However both this aspects don't mix together well so I kept switching from enjoyment to exasperation and back throughout the entir ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book makes my heart feel so full. Though the first line, where she talked about "getting the wind" from her mother, my initial reaction was "Dang that sucks you got bad gas, Ruby" and I had a little chuckle about it for a good bit. Cause that's not what Lackey meant AT ALL.

This story filled me with so much hope and love that I spent a good portion of the book openly weeping and also crying. Red finding a family with Celine and Jackson and Tuck and all the animals at the petting zoo was pre
This was an absolute tear-jerker for me, especially the last 25%. And I loved it! This is a beautiful story about Ruby "Red", a girl who has been in the foster system for 3 years. She has had many emotionally charged experiences in her life, including abandonment/neglect by her drug addicted mom, watching her beloved Gamma die from cancer, and several bad foster experiences before she finds the family in this book. She struggles with her emotions linked to all that has happened to her and these ...more
Pam  Page
This is a great story that looks at the emotions a child goes through in foster care and the types of foster care situations that a child might encounter. It also looks at a parent's drug addiction and what that can do to relationships and family. There was a lot of sadness in this book, sometimes it made me so sad I had to stop reading for a bit. But I feel the author did a good job of portraying Red's feelings, emotions, and actions for the situation she was in. The only reason I gave this 4 s ...more
Taylor Wilson
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely lovely story. I would consider it "magical realism" as Red's powers are the one and only magical element to this story. Otherwise, it reads as a very real, very emotional story of a young girl moving from foster home to foster home, waiting for her mother to be released from jail in just over a year. I think this could be a great mirror book for a student who is in foster care themselves, and a great window book for other students to understand the hardships foster children ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
All the Impossible Things was a magical and heartwarming story about a girl who is finding the true meaning of family. She is struggling with staying loyal to what she thinks is the right thing to do, while slowly realizing that perhaps there are better things out there for her. I found Ruby's character to be very relatable and she'll stick with me for a while.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of my favorite middle grade reads. This was a spectacular debut novel. It was a story of how a true family is not necessarily the one that you are born into. It addresses the foster care system in a very positive way and illness in a very honest way. I would highly recommend it to both children and adults.
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Play Book Tag: All the Impossible Things - Lindsay Lackey (4 stars) 1 6 Aug 13, 2020 07:10PM  

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Lindsay Lackey has trained as an opera singer, worked in children’s and teen services at the public library, and for a major publishing house in publicity and marketing. Born and raised in Colorado, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their spoiled dog. All the Impossible Things is her debut novel.

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