It’s finally here – The Boy Who Walked Backwards was written by Ben Sures, illustrated by Nicole Marie Burton and published by the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre.
The Boy Who Walked Backwards is a moving story about a young Ojibway boy Leo and his family in Serpent River First Nation. Leo’s life turns to darkness when forced to attend residential school. Back home for Christmas, Leo uses inspiration from an Ojibway childhood game to deal with his struggles.
The book is written by Ben Sures and illustrated by Nicole Marie Burton. Sures has spent much of his adult life as a touring and recording singer and songwriter. He has nine full-length albums that have garnered awards. CBC listeners know him for work on numerous programs including, most recently, The Irrelevant Show.
The songs Sures writes for adults have a childlike quality, so it makes sense he’s now written a book for children. The Boy Who Walked Backwards was originally conceived as song, but Sures thought it would also work as a storybook. He wanted children to know the story of Leo Day.
The Boy Who Walked Backwards is his first published work. It has laid the groundwork for more stories, maybe even more Leo stories. Sures envisions further story heroes who triumph using nothing more than what they are born with—instincts and wits.