All Sorts of Possible by Rupert Wallis

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All Sorts of Possible by Rupert Wallis

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Daniel makes a miraculous escape from an accident but his father isn't so lucky and is stuck in a coma. Wallis's exploration of the aftermath brings a little bit of the supernatural and a lot of emotion into rites of passage that we all struggle with.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 147114366X

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When the sinkhole opened, there was no time to break or turn the wheel, and the old green Land Rover was snatched off the dirt road over the smoking rim.

Somehow, Daniel makes it out of the sinkhole and emerges to safety with just a few scratches and bruises. But his father isn't so lucky. While he lies in hospital in an induced coma due to a severe brain injury, Daniel is released into the care of his aunt, a woman he has never met. There had been a family falling out after Daniel's mother died when he was just a baby, and since then it's just been Daniel and his dad. Although his aunt seems nice enough, Daniel finds it difficult to trust her or open up to her...

... and there's a lot to open up about.

The accident has awoken dormant psychic abilities in Daniel. In fact, those abilities may even be what saved him. How can you tell someone you've only just met about the supernatural things that are happening to you? How can you tell them that those abilities have been recognised by someone who has them too? How can you tell them that you've been pulled into the orbit of a threatening, blackmailing criminal who wants to use you for his own nefarious purposes? And most of all, how can you tell them about how the thought that you might lose your father, the other half of you, makes you feel?

I loved this story. It's quite dark, really, beginning with a horrible accident, containing scenes of violence, dealing with bullying, guilt, anger and grief. But somehow, it doesn't feel dark. It feels hopeful. It's about looking for the silver linings in the darkest of clouds and finding them. It's about really understanding that old truism that if sadness doesn't exist, we'll never understand the true meaning of joy. And it communicates all this inside a really tense, page-turning mystery thriller of a narrative. I think that's going some.

There is one last thing I want to say about All Sorts of Possible but I want to do it without giving a spoiler or really even hinting at one. Um! Ok, let's leave it at this: this story has one of the most moving, lovely, sad-but-sweet endings I've ever read. I cried like a baby at the humanity of it. So, you know, I call that a recommendation, ok?

For parents: All Sorts of Possible deals with some raw and painful emotions. Sometimes, it can get quite scary too. I read an article by Wallis in which he discusses whether or not death and other dark topics are suitable themes for books for younger people. He passionately believes that they are, and so do I. If you worry about such things and it gives you concern about what your kids are reading, you should see what he has to say.

You should read Wallis's first book, The Dark Inside. I think something like Heaven Eyes by David Almond would also appeal.

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