Walking Backward

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Walking Backward

by Catherine Austen

Orca Book Publishers | October 1, 2009 | Trade Paperback

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.5 × 5 × 0.4 in

Published: October 1, 2009

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554691478

ISBN - 13: 9781554691470

Appropriate for ages: 9

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– More About This Product –

Walking Backward

by Catherine Austen

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.5 × 5 × 0.4 in

Published: October 1, 2009

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554691478

ISBN - 13: 9781554691470

About the Book

"After his mother dies in a phobia-related car crash, twelve-year-old Josh tries to make sense of his grief while he looks after his little brother and watches his father retreat into a fantasy world."

Read from the Book

Dr. Tierney sent a scribbled note with the journal. It''s very important to write every time you have a strong feeling, Josh, and review the journal each week. So when someone makes me laugh or cry, I''m supposed to say, "Hey, man, I''ve got a strong feeling coming on," and rush off to write it down. It''s supposed to be private, but Dad will probably sneak into my room to read it. Then he''ll think I''m sad all the time, and that will turn him into a sad person too. Seriously, this thing is dangerous.

From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

Once your mother dies, you''re either unhappy because your mother died, or you''re happy but you think you shouldn''t be because your mother just died, or you''re happy and not thinking about it until other people look at you like you''re a freak for being happy when your mother just died. Any way you look at it, it''s not happy. After his mother dies in a car crash, twelve-year-old Josh is left with a father who is building a time machine in the basement and a little brother who talks to a toy Power Ranger as if it is his dead mother. With no faith to guide him, Josh makes death his summer research project. "The dead-parent genre is a busy one, but Austen breaks from the pack with this confident and peculiar debut." -Booklist

Appropriate for ages: 9

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