All That I Can Fix

All That I Can Fix

For Ages: 12 - 99
“A superbly entertaining read.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Will win over teens.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

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 David Arnold.

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.
  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781534408883 | 
  • June 2018 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
List Price $18.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

All That I Can Fix

By Crystal Chan

About the Book

Ronney can fix just about anything, except when it comes to his family: his father’s clinical depression, his mother’s anxiety, and his kid sister Mina’s panic attacks. As if that weren’t enough stress for a fifteen-year-old, Ronney discovers that ten-year-old Sam wants him to help find his runaway brother. To make matters worse, a local eccentric released his menagerie of wild animals, and now lions, tigers, pythons, and other creatures are on the loose in Ronney’s small Indiana town. Against this chaos, he feels he needs to be the man of the house and hold it together for everyone else. But how can Ronney take on the responsibilities of an adult when he is only a kid? And how can he cope with the anger he feels toward the people in his life who have let him down? Perhaps by helping make Sam’s life a little better, he can avoid having his own life crumble to pieces.

Discussion Questions

1. Consider the book’s title, All That I Can Fix. Discuss the things that Ronney can fix and those that he can’t. Why does he believe so many of the issues or obstacles that surround him are his to fix? How can his willingness and ability to take on household projects be seen as both a positive and a negative? How does the physical work of home repair help Ronney to channel his a see more

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About the Author

Crystal Chan
Photograph courtesy of the author

Crystal Chan

Crystal Chan watched with amazement at the exotic zoo outbreak in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011, where scores of animals—hungry lions, panthers, and tigers—ran loose around the county. That incident helped inspire her most recent novel, All That I Can Fix. When Crystal isn’t writing, her passion is giving diversity talks to adults and kids alike, telling stories on Wisconsin Public Radio, and hosting conversations on social media. Her debut novel, Bird, was published in nine countries and is available on audiobook in the US. She is the parent of a teenage turtle (not a ninja).