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Backward Glass Paperback – October 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738737518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738737515
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1977, 15-year-old Kenny is helping his father renovate an old carriage house when they find, hidden in a wall, a dead infant wrapped in a newspaper from decades ago and accompanied by a note written to Kenny, pleading with him to prevent the baby’s death. But how? Soon Kenny discovers his ability to move one decade forward and back in time through an antique mirror. This magical object and an urban legend frame Lomax’s time-travel murder mystery, though the best features are the characters, one each decade, who respond to being selected as a mirror kid, each in his or her own way. The kids’ relationships, foisted upon them, are complicated by their different places in time. The complex plotting, directed by clearly defined rules of time travel, unfolds carefully and with great suspense and danger as Kenny struggles to make things right, despite the understanding that he meddles with history at great personal risk. This debut novel will leave readers eager for more, and the ending hints that they might get it. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth

About the Author

David Lomax (Toronto, Canada) was born in Scotland and moved to Canada at age eight. He currently divides his time between four great passions: writing, reading, teaching high-school English, and his wonderful family. Backward Glass is his debut novel.


More About the Author

At age eight, David Lomax was transplanted to Canada from his native Scotland. The same year, his parents read him Tarzan of the Apes, and he decided to become a writer. He didn't get all of the cool jobs his other writer friends did to make their biographies sound interesting such as train driver, elevator repairman, or insurance underwriter. He was, briefly, a waiter. But not a good one. He currently divides his time between four great passions - writing, reading, teaching high-school English, and his wonderful family. He lives in Toronto with his awesome wife and three precocious children.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
The characters in Backward Glass are all very well done!
Lexxie
I love the references from different decades, even though I don’t always know all of them.
Amazon Customer
Even if the setting is anything but linear time wise, Kenny's story moves linearly.
Laura (anadultteenreader)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kayla Sanchez on October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
First of all, A+ for originality in concept. Between the mirrors and keys and Prince Harming and John Wald and the "auby one", it was like an entirely new world was oozing from my Kindle screen. Remarkable world building, and a difficult concept explained very well!

As for plot, I only have a standing ovation for David after keeping such an intricate and very-easy-to-screw-up-if-you-get-one-tiny-thing-wrong plot all in line. Seriously, the subplots and alternate timelines and parallel worlds would have tripped me up within three pages if I tried to write them, but David manages to balance all of them and wrap them up so perfectly at the end that I had a huge Chesire grin on my face when I reached the final page. And the foreshadowing was done just perfectly - I figured a few things out, but never too soon in the story. Plus, just when I thought I had it figured out, there was another twist that left me scrambling to find out where I had gone wrong!

Honestly, as much as I gush about the rest of the book, it's the characters that really take the cake. The best part about them was how real and tangible they were. Despite finding a time traveling mirror, none of them become swaggering idiots, believing themselves to be superheroes. Kenny, the protagonist and narrator, recognizes this, and states it right out that he's no hero - he's just a teenager trying to figure it all out. Luka, while precocious and probably the most Alpha out of the entire cast, has her moments of vulnerability. There are so many kids from each decade, but all of them play a key role in the story and have stark differences in their personality. I never confused any of the characters with each other, because they were so well-developed and three-dimensional that there was no way they would allow me to mix them up.

This is on my list of top 5 best books I've read so far in 2013, and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!
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Format: Paperback
Boy discovers he can time travel with the help of a mirror. Boy discovers rules of the mirror, limiting what he can do. Boy discovers mysterious message telling him to save a baby--and then finds a dead baby hidden in the wall of the house he just moved into.

There are a lot of time travel calculations, to-ing and fro-ing from time period to time period (but all constrained within the area of the house) and action galore. Because of the vast time covered, as well as some constraints of the plot where the boy has to spend a long time trapped away from everybody that made the emotional development somewhat unsatisfying for me, but all in all a good tale.

Cool parts include an important-to-the-plot Star Wars reference, slow reveals of the boy's life related to the time traveling, a cool 17th Century Scottish dude, and truly eerie, creepy children's rhymes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By streetbook on February 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I strongly recommend this. Just as I thought I had it figured out it took another twist. I recommended it to several family members after reading it and they all loved it too. If you want something different from the norm, interesting with plenty of surprises then this book is for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Listro on December 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Read more: [...]

Do you love nursery rhymes? Of course you don't, they're creepy as hell. Which is why they make the perfect backdrop for this eerie time travelling mystery that starts with a dead baby in the wall and ends with a startling revelation. Now, time travel can get janky, but Lomax does it well. You can only travel 10 years up or back. Only between the Mirror. Only Mirror Children can go. And nothing can change. Lomax does a damn good job of twisting together events and playing with the idea of the past and future depending on each other. It killed my brain but in a good, interesting way. The only problem was towards the end, where it got a little too confusing for me to hold onto the story. However, I got on board with the characters and stuck with them. I wished there had been more of the feisty Luka, but Kenny as a narrator really grew on me. His is a slightly naive, hopeful voice that gives perspective to the dark story. I won't soon forget this story.

plot . 4/5
You start with a mummified baby in the wall and a note--Help me save him--so you know it's gonna get good. Then a girl falls out of Kenny's mirror, and suddenly we're racing through time searching for the nefarious Prince Harming with one purpose: stop the baby from dying. The problem? The rules of time travel say that you can't change the past. What's happened has already happened. That doesn't stop Kenny from trying. It's an exciting race between Kenny and the mirror children, who are convinced that Prince Harming killed the baby, vs Prince Harming, who's convinced that Kenny is going to murder his wife sometime in the past. What comes out is a thrilling mystery with complex threads and the kind of reveal that made me smack myself in the forehead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lexxie on November 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
*I received a free ARC of Backward Glass from Flux via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Backward Glass is a brilliant YA time travel novel, and it really made my day! The main character, Kenny, is pretty careful, but his travels to the past (and sometimes to the future) take him on such a wild adventure I was almost out of breath at times. I love reading about time travel, and I thought it was very well done in Backward Glass. Like, you can’t change what has happened, but you can still be the captain of your own life – that is very important to me on both counts.

The characters in Backward Glass are all very well done! I loved Kenny from the very beginning, and the way the readers are introduced to him is very clever. The mystery is there from the very beginning, as Kenny and his dad find a mummified baby inside one of the walls of the carriage house in their new garden. Kenny gets a strange feeling before he finds the newspaper with the dead baby inside, like there’s static electricity there, and he can’t touch the bundle at all.

The side characters are fleshed out and real as well, and that is always a good thing in my opinion. Racing backwards in time to save someone without actually knowing the whole story and not knowing who the bad guy is becomes second nature to Kenny pretty fast. He really has no choice if he wanted to go back to his own time – 1977. However, between the kids that might have their own agenda, and not really meeting many adults at all, Kenny needs to act fast and be smart about his choices.
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