Monday, July 8, 2013

Backwards by Todd Mitchell


The book starts with Dan’s suicide which is when the Rider is first aware of his existence.  The narrator or Rider has no idea what is going on but is at once disgusted with Dan’s apparent wasted life and the effect his suicide has on his sister and mother.  When the Rider next wakes up Dan is alive and the Rider soon discovers that he is experiencing Dan’s life backwards.  As the Rider goes through Dan’s life he slowly discovers the events leading up to Dan’s suicide.  Can he gain control of Dan’s mind and prevent the suicide and the events leading up to it?  Can he change the past?  Could he get enough control and live Dan’s life and get the girl, Cat?  By going backwards the Rider and the reader try to piece together events and at times both get the wrong information.  This was a powerful book.

I read this a few days ago and I can’t get it out of my head.  It is very powerful.  I was a little creeped out when it started with Dan’s suicide but was intrigued with the narrator or Rider.  Then as the Rider began living Dan’s life backwards I was sucked in.  As more and more was revealed it became apparent what led to the suicide but so sad.  The Rider tries to undo the mistakes that were made but because he doesn’t know all the details he can’t know if he is really making a difference.  Things the Rider thinks he knows turn out to be false.  I really enjoyed this and it has a very good message about cause and effect and consequences of our actions.  I highly recommend it.

More Complete Review


1 comment:

  1. Dear Mrs. Williams,

    Thank you for this insightful and excellent review of my book. Normally, as a matter of ethics, I never comment on reviews, but this is the very first review of Backwards that I've seen (you're fast!). I'm so glad you liked the book.

    I see that you're a librarian in Maine. I'm curious, have you read one of my earlier books, The Traitor King? It involves a magical librarian in Maine (she's one of my favorite characters), and it's written for a 4th-6th grade audience. It originally came out in 2007 with Scholastic Press. If you want to read it, and can't find it, let me know, and I'll send you a free copy (it's also available as an ebook now).

    Thank you for posting connections to standards for Backwards, and lesson and discussion ideas on your other blog. And thank you for your thoughtful reviews. If ever you're interested in a school visit, please let me know.

    Best wishes,

    Todd Mitchell