A teen boy’s world gets turned upside-down when a zoo of exotic animals takes over his small town in this wickedly funny, heartbreakingly honest novel that’s perfect for fans of Shaun David Hutchinson.
In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about Ronney—he’s from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. If having a family like that wasn’t bad enough, the local eccentric at the edge of town decided one night to open up all the cages of his exotic zoo—lions, cheetahs, tigers—and then shoot himself dead. Go figure. Even more proof that you can’t trust adults to do the right thing.
Overnight, news crews, gun control supporters, and gun rights advocates descend on Makersville, bringing around-the-clock news coverage, rallies, and anti-rallies with them. With his parents checked out, Ronney is left tending to his sister’s mounting fears of roaming lions, stopping his best friend from going on a suburban safari, and shaking loose a lonely boy who follows Ronney wherever he goes. Can Ronney figure out a way to hold it together as all his worlds fall apart?
From acclaimed author Crystal Chan comes an incisive tale of love, loyalty, and the great leaps we take to protect the people and places we love most.
Crystal Chan has done some things really well in her second novel. Her portrayal of Ronney’s feelings about his father’s mental health ring heartbreakingly true, including the sadness, anger, and abandonment issues caused by the situation. Ronney is not a particularly lovable character, but I found myself rooting for him the whole way through in his struggles to find love and acceptance in his family and within his changing friendships. Ronney’s interactions with his sister reveal a softer side that offsets some of his less endearing qualities, along with his dealings with a young boy who has attached himself to Ronney. All of this set against a background where dangerous animals roam free, questions of gun regulation and safety are hotly debated, and the experience of growing up as a racially ambiguous person of color make ALL THAT I CAN FIX an engrossing and thought-provoking read. This novel will be available on June 12, 2018. Put it on your must-read list for the summer!