Thursday, December 31, 2009

Walking Backward Review

Title: Walking Backward 
Author: Catherine Austen
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: October 2009 
Pages: 176 
My Edition: Paperback 
Reading Level: Juvenile fiction Ages 9-12 
Themes: grief, family, siblings, family 
Where I got it: won from LibraryThing sent by Orca 

Summary from Orca:
When Josh's mother dies in a phobia-induced car crash, she leaves two questions for her grieving family: how did a snake get into her car and how do you mourn with no faith to guide you? Twelve-year-old Josh is left alone to find the answers. His father is building a time machine. His four-year-old brother's closest friend is a plastic Power Ranger. His psychiatrist offers nothing more than a blank journal and platitudes.

Isolated by grief in a home where every day is pajama day, Josh makes death his research project. He tests the mourning practices of religions he doesn't believe in. He tries to mend his little brother's shattered heart. He observes, records and waits—for his life to feel normal, for his mother's death to make sense, for his father to come out of the basement. His observations, recorded in a series of journal entries, are funny, smart, insightful—and heartbreaking. His conclusions about the nature of love, loss, grief and the space-time continuum are nothing less than life-changing. 

Walking Backward was a quick, sad but touching read about a 12 year old boy whose mother just died in a car accident. The story started on July 30th and ended on September 6th, where each of those days were journal entries of the main character's life after his mom's death. A couple times I felt myself becoming bored, but once I got to the end it got better because the mood was lightening and their family was coming back together. Several times throughout I felt very sad or though it was pretty funny. At the end, you also finally find out who actually put the snake in the car, which was very surprising to me.

The plot was very original and nicely written. The story seems like it's for younger children, but I don't think I would have enjoyed it has much if I had read when I was younger. If you know a younger child whose parent died, I think this would be a good book for them to read. My only complaints would be it became a little boring at times, and I think the book isn't really for younger children because I don't think they would enjoy it as much. 


1 comment:

  1. Disappointing..I love when a book grabs you from start to finish


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