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Six Impossible Things

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Author:  Fiona Wood


Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.

His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (9 votes)


Mar 07,2014

Six Impossible Things is about a 14 year old boy named Dan Cereill, who is a complete ‘nerd’. Dan Cereill’s world turns completely upside down when his father left his mother after telling her he was ‘gay’. Splitting the family left them very poor. Dan’s mother tried to start up a not so successful wedding cake business. She would usually talk her customers out of getting married, pushing her customers away rather than helping them. Although Dan’s aunty died and left the family her home, they continued to struggle financially. 


My most memorable aspect of the book was the most important of Dan’s problems . . . He was in love with Estelle, the girl living next door to him, however it seemed impossible for him to ever be with her. She was portrayed in the book as very popular and although Dan knew everything about Estelle, she barely even knew of his existence. Making life even harder for Dan was the fact that he had to move schools and no one liked him at either one.


I really enjoyed this book because the characters were very interesting and real. This book made me feel like I was part of it and some scenes were very relatable. Although there were moments that made me cringe, other parts were also quite funny. I don’t generally enjoy reading but this book encouraged me because I just wanted to know what would happen next and I couldn’t put it down.

I would recommend this book for people between 12 and17 years of age who like a love story with some humour in it. 


By Catherine Walsh 8 Green

Sep 24,2013

I'm a 12 year old girl in high school and I usually hate reading books.

Until I found this one. I reccomend it for 11-17 years, this book is funny and realistic and who wouldn't love it? It is quite easy to read and Fiona Wood has set it out brilliantly. My favourite book by far! There is some swearing in this book.

I reccommend this book to people aged 11-17 years.

Jun 23,2013

'Tis cute and fun, happy light reading :)

Mar 22,2013
This review is a spoiler. View anyway?

Six Impossible Things

Author- Fiona Wood

Six Impossible Things is a surprising yet thought-provoking chapter book based on survival, written by the Australian author Fiona Wood. The book is set in a present-day neighbourhood and tells the story of a young man called Dan Cereill going though a chain of misfortunes.

The story begins with Dan Cereill finding out that his father is gay and his mother has gone bankrupt and doesn't have any more money for his private school. A related family member soon passes away and Dan and his mother inherit her house. Right next door is his biggest crush, Estelle. Before starting school Dan decides to write a list of six impossible things he will try to complete before the end of the year and his mother decides to start her own wedding cake business. When he enters his new school he is called various name such as nerd, weirdo and soon enough Cake Boy.

Readers will also take delight in how the book shows much similarity to the modern world today. Undoubtedly, one of the most brilliant chapters, would be when Dan decides to read Estelle's journal and to find the secret of who she has a crush on.

Fiona Wood certainly challenges the normal perceptions of school and home in this well written book. 11 years and up will enjoy the discussion on how Dan managed to survive through his bad deeds and misfortune with his family. Although the book has a bit of Coarse language it has an amazing impact on adults and children who have been through similar experience as those dealt with in the novel. 

Mar 22,2013

The fictional novel, Six Impossible Things, by Fiona Wood is published by Pan Macmillan Australia. This novel is a gripping and thrilling take of typical teen problems and a witty view on a young teenage boy's survival of many unique situations. He is fourteen and has a nerdy reputation. He has a "just out" gay dad and a depressed mother with a failing business and to top it off he has a typical crush on the girl next door. He has impossible circumstances and a dreary life but for now has focused on just those six impossible things. The main characters are Dan Cereill who is the orginal main character then there is his mother and the girl next door Estelle. My favourite character is the main character Dan he is a interesting and funny boy because of his wit and his attitude to his circumstances he has a hard time but makes it through with a sense of humour and positive outlook. He manages to set himself a goal of six impossible things which he works on and is determined to succeed. The novel is set in contemporary American Suburbia. The main theme throughout the novel is quite depressing and shows a very low point of life however, the point is to overcome that and to survive one of life's most gruelling occasions High School a lot like hell to many teenagers. The author used a mix of colloquial and slang language that is suitable for teens. What was most enjoyable about the novel was the wit and humour present and the way it showed a teenager's view on adult situations. This novel was nothing like expected. It showed a humorous side to a dull life.

May 21,2012
This review is a spoiler. View anyway?

Dan Cereill (pronounced ‘surreal’, not ‘cereal’) has undergone a rude awakening. At the same time that his mother inherited a heritage-listed house from her dead great-aunt Adelaide, she discovered that her husband was both gay and bankrupt and they would have to move into said heritage-listed abode because the bank was repossessing everything else.

And so, Dan finds himself living in a ***-smelling, run-down relic, not talking to his ‘out’ dad, about to start on the bottom rung at a new high school.

The only thing getting him through this teenage mid-life crisis is the girl next door, Estelle, a hidden doorway leading into her attic, and a list of six impossible things; 

The List:


1. Kiss Estelle. I know. I haven’t met her yet. Technically. But it gets top spot regardless.
2. Get a job. We’re in a complete mess financially. It’s down to me to tide us over money-wise if my mother’s new business crashes.
3. Cheer my mother up. Better chance of business not crashing if she’s half okay. 
4. It’s not like I expect to be cool or popular at the new school, but I’m going to try not to be a complete nerd/loser.
5. Should talk to my father when he calls. But how, when the only thing I want to ask is something I can’t bear to hear the answer to: How could you leave us like this?
6. The existential one. Figure out how to be good. I don’t want to end up the sort of person who up and leaves his family out of the blue.

‘Six Impossible Things’ is a stand-alone YA novel from Australian author, Fiona Wood. 

I loved this book for its simplicity. On the surface there’s a lot of things happening in Dan’s life – his gay dad, bankrupt family, new school and first real crush. The book could have buckled under the weight of so many issues – but Wood handles them with a deft hand and earnest male perspective.

Dan is our narrator, and it’s lovely to get a male perspective in Aussie YA, for a change. He’s starting year nine when all his familial issues implode – he’s a sensitive soul who has spent the holidays crying under his doona and avoiding his dad’s phone calls. Perhaps to distract himself from the things he can’t change – no money, divorced parents, gay dad – he becomes a teensy bit consumed with his crush on the girl next door, Estelle.

This was a great and realistic way For Wood to explore such catastrophic issues. His mum’s coping mechanisms creep into the story, as does his avoidance of his dad’s olive branches and monetary decline. But for Dan, Estelle is centre stage in his new life. 

I loved Dan. He’s a smart and sensitive young man, with a cracking wit that especially shines through when he observes the social structure of his new public school. Like his nick-naming of the transposable bracket girls (omigod). 

‘Six Impossible Things’ was a wonderful Australian young adult novel exploring cutting-edge issues through a voice of lovable innocence.


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