Layefsky, Virginia. Impossible Things. Marshall Cavendish, 1998. ISBN 0-761-45038-6. $14.95. 207 pp. A 5-8 FI Reviewed by Sandra L. Tidwell Brady has just turned twelve years old, and his father, a widower, has a girlfriend named Troy. Brady hasn't yet come to accept the death of his mother, who died in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. He's still carrying a lot of hurt around with him. The good times the three of them used to have together are still vivid memories, and Brady wants to find a way to bring her back. This hope is just one of the “impossible things” that give meaning to the book's title. Although I have never gone through an experience like Brady's or personally talked to a child of this age who has, I felt Brady's feelings were portrayed realistically. Brady tells his own story and often speaks directly to the reader:”I got this idea. I'll tell you what it was. Get ready to scream with laughter. I don't care. What I thought was: maybe I could get her back.” Impossible Things is an interesting combination of reality and fantasy. Brady, on one of his trips to his secret cave in the rocks by the beach near his home, finds a newborn monster-like creature. He communicates through thoughts with this amazing, fast-growing creature, Excalibur, and he begins to believe he really can get his mother back. On one of his trips to the beach he saves a young boy, Gareth, from being swept into the ocean, and meets Gareth's widowed mother. Brady, through his association with Gareth and his mother, begins to feel loved and accepted. Just as Brady saved Gareth from the storm, Brady's association with Gareth and his mother saved him from the storms in his life.”And it was Gareth's mom, who was beautiful, like Excalibur, and somebody who, like my mom's smile, took me in out of the storm and told me without words that everything was positively all right forever, because somebody loved me.” This is a beautiful story that emphasizes how important communicating love is to all people, especially those who are going through challenging experiences. It might serve as an eye-opener for a parent or teacher who is having trouble communicating with a child who has lost a loved one and is going through the healing process. Layefsky is to be commended for not using vulgar and profane language to portray Brady's intense feelings.
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