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Walking Backward Paperback – Oct 1 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (Oct. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554691478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554691470
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #660,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"In this impressive debut novel, Josh keeps a journal to chart his feelings and thoughts, allowing readers to follow his journey from sadness to acceptance and the eventual return of cohesion in his family. Given the subject matter, the story is never maudlin, and Josh's voice rings natural and true. An elegantly crafted volume of lasting power." (Kirkus Reviews 2009-09-15)

"Josh's sense of humour, which lightens the somber subject matter of this novel, comes to light throughout the book...While professionals may find this novel useful as bibliotherapy, Walking Backward is much more than a therapeutic tool. With its well-drawn characters and depth of understanding, this work of children's literature should withstand the test of time...Highly Recommended." (CM Magazine 2009-09-04)

"Differs from most bereavement stories in both its male narrator and its genuine, if quiet and rueful, humor… The result is a book that perceptively gives weight to the small as well as the large ways bereavement can change a family and grief can intermix with the continuation of life." (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2009-11-01)

"The dead-parent genre is a busy one, but Austen breaks from the pack with this confident and peculiar debut… Austen is more interested in people's alternately funny and haunting reactions to grief… Austen is unsentimental about anger and regret, and that alone makes this a refreshing change of pace." (Booklist 2009-10-15)

"Austen comments - subtly, non-judgmentally - on the secular, nuclear nature of the contemporary North American family… Her writing cuts straight to the heart. She delivers a wise, rich novel, wonderfully compelling for children and adults alike." (The Globe and Mail 2009-11-21)

"Austen's protagonist is an endearing blend of smart-aleck and lost boy. The story - recounted in journal entries - deftly tackles such weighty topics as atheism, grief and the ties that bind a family together." (Montreal Review of Books 2009-10-01)

"As Josh struggles to understand his family, moments of great tenderness and emotion emerge…Josh comes to accept that dealing with loss is a messy, frustrating, and painful matter that cannot be avoided through mere ritual." (Quill & Quire 2009-12-01)

"Satisfying and realistic. This book would be a good catalyst for discussions about the impact of phobias or dealing with grief. Recommended." (Resource Links 2009-10-01)

"Josh's wise-beyond-his-years voice will admirably answer the call when young patrons ask for 'sad' books and also provide counsel when young people must deal first-hand with the loss of a loved one." (NMRLS Youth Services Book Review 2009-12-01)

"Throughout his emotional journey, Josh's voice is both natural and believable. Austen is both unsentimental and unapologetic in her employment of precise and elegant prose, and the complicated and often humorous reactions to grieving practices lend themselves to an enjoyable read." (School Library Journal 2010-02-01)

"This will appeal to young people looking for a sad novel, as well as those wanting to relate to another's trauma...A definite success. Recommended." (Library Media Connection 2010-01-01)

"Will resonate with those who have experienced a loss, even one not as traumatic as the loss of a mother, and its gentle portrayal of the stages of grief will strike a chord with those who are starting to think about the big questions of life and death and loss." (Book Notes (Center for Children's/Young Adult Books, MSU) 2009-12-01)

"The characters in Walking Backward are human, quirky and likeable...Josh's narrative perspective gives it humor and emotional honesty...An appealing book and a good pick for understanding the loss of a parent." (Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media 2010-03-01)

"An original and entertaining take on grief and coping with loss...[Josh] is easy to relate to and sustains this story with his strong, thoughtful and funny voice." (Canadian Children's Book News 2010-07-01)

"A charming and sometimes whimsical story." (Washington State YA Book Review 2010-03-01)

"This novel's refusal to sentimentalize loss or to accept quick or predictable solutions in conjunction with its ability to create a realistic and complex protagonist allows for a refreshing perspective on the story of the loss of a parent." (Canadian Literature 2011-05-01)

Book Description

A brief history of grief.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat book. It's funny
on October 16, 2016 - Published on
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4.0 out of 5 starsWalking Backward
on October 24, 2012 - Published on
4.0 out of 5 starsA young boy's grief, a whole family's loss
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4.0 out of 5 starsWalking Backward
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