A life-affirming novel about a teen dealing with death, loss, and love while traveling backwards in time.
Available now from Candlewick Press!
*Finalist for the 2014 Colorado Book Award*
*Finalist for the Crystal Kite Award*
*LitPick 5 Star Book Review Award*
It was Saturday, November 15th, but I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t understand the strange countdown of days that formed my existence until later. All I knew then was that I was alive, alone, and trapped in the body of a dead person.
“Mitchell artfully weaves together a heart-racing, page-turning mystery with big questions about identity, love, and family. This is, hands down, the most imaginative and thought provoking novel I’ve read all year. It easily ranks up there with my all-time favorite YA books.” — Laura Resau, author of Red Glass, What the Moon Saw, and The Indigo Notebook series
“This was a powerful book. I read this a few days ago and can’t get it out of my head… I highly recommend it.” — Librarian in a Candy Shop
“[A] suspenseful paranormal novel. …at once thought-provoking and satisfying. Readers who stick with the Rider will be rewarded.” —School Library Journal
“I liked this book because it constantly makes you wonder.” —Teen reviewer, for School Library Journal Teen
“[Backwards] frames the fatalistic thinking of depression in a fresh way making this a thoughtful read and a provocative title for discussion.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Mitchell’s lyrical prose mesmerizes readers from the get-go… not only did Todd Mitchell’s Backwards wow me, it also explored the sensitive topic of teen suicide in a sensitive —yet wholly engaging— way.” —LitPick (five stars)
“With shades of the 2000 Christopher Nolan film Memento, the construction of Backwards turns suspense on its side… once you settle in, the rhythms are easy to grasp, the effect sometimes devastating… By peeling back rather than building up the intricate, decreasingly-opaque layers of Dan’s anguish, what’s revealed is the complicated, wounded, beautiful core buried so desperately deep inside him. Inside all of us.” —Tucker Shaw, The Denver Post Book Review
“…there’s no doubting the importance of Backwards for its intended audience. But I would argue that Backwards is as much, if not more, of a must-read for adults.” —Vince Darcangelo, Ensuing Chapters reviews
“Backwards is totally unique in its offerings, with themes and issues that concern teenagers and their adults, told in language that compels the reader to keep going forward while considering the actions of the past. Highly recommended to readers grade 8 and up.” —Dodie Ownes, Librarian
“Backwards is a refreshing approach to a very serious topic for young adults… By writing the story backwards, Mitchell does a superb job of shedding light on teen suicide, while leaving room for empathy and hope for his characters and audience. …This is a story that stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.” —The Courier
The moment Dan’s life ends, the Rider’s life begins. Unwillingly tied to Dan, the Rider finds himself traveling backwards in time, each day revealing more of the series of events that lead to Dan’s suicide.
As the Rider struggles to figure out what he’s meant to do, he revels in the life that Dan ignores. Beyond the simple pleasures of a hot shower and the sun on his face, the Rider also notices the people around Dan: his little sister, always disappointed by her big brother’s rejection, his overwhelmed mom, who can never rely on Dan for help, and Cat — with her purple hair, artistic talent, and misfit beauty. But Cat doesn’t want anything to do with Dan. While the days move in reverse and Halloween looms, it’s up to the Rider to find out why Cat is so angry and what he must do to make things right.
In his second novel for teens, Todd Mitchell turns time around as the Rider attempts to fix the future by changing the past and experiences the joys and the heartbreak of living backwards.
(Available October 8th, 2013, from Candlewick Press)
More Backwards stuff:
One last thing: Candlewick did an amazing job with the book design. I’ve never seen a book like it before so I hope you’ll pick up a copy. Here’s the opening paragraph if you’re curious (check out that nifty backwards title font):