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An unusual psychological thriller asks: Is it possible to fix a tragic future by changing the past -- while experiencing life backwards?          At the moment Dan's life ends, the Rider's begins. Unwillingly tied to Dan, the Rider finds himself moving backwards in time, each day revealing more of the series of events that led to Dan's suicide.           As the Rider struggles to figure out what he's meant to do, he revels in the life 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 heartbreak of living backwards.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • For Reluctant Readers

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Our mysterious narrator comes into consciousness to find a young man killing himself in his bathtub. Hovering overhead, unable to pull away, he watches the boy die, unable to understand why he is there and who he is. Ever since then, he has been living the boy's, Dan's, life backwards, day by day, his tomorrow our yesterday.

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In Backwards, author Todd Mitchell chronicles the curious existence of an entity dubbed “The Rider”; after kind-of-protagonist Dan commits suicide, The Rider begins reliving the high schooler’s final days in reverse. The Rider, aghast at the amount of hurt Dan has inflicted on his family and classmates, vows to erase all of the troubled high schooler’s mistakes. From smoothing things over with Dan’s furious sister Teagan, to (finally) showing his harrowed mom the appreciation she deserves, The Rider can’t wait to correct Dan’s selfish behaviour.

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