Us Minus Mum: Heather Butler
George's life is full of facts. Facts such as: his little brother, Theo, is a total pain; nobody ever disagrees with Nana (even Dad); and their new dog, Goffo, is the best dog in the world ever (despite his uncontrollable bowels).
But the biggest fact in George's life is that his mum is absolutely, completely brilliant. She tells great stories, can wave the fastest of anyone on the planet and, most importantly, she was the one who suggested they adopt scruffy but adorable Goffo. The boys think she's invincible. But they're wrong. As George starts to realise that Mum is really ill, he knows that it's up to him and Theo to keep Mum smiling. Which will almost probably definitely involve wellies, shepherd's pie and Goffo's victory at the pet talent show...
Heart-warming as well as heart-breaking, Us Minus Mum is the unforgettable story of two brothers and their lovable mongrel finding laughter in the face of loss. Written by child bereavement expert Heather Butler, the novel sensitively and authentically depicts a family pulling together in the face of grief.
Download an extract
Read an extract from the book here.
About the author
Heather Butler grew up in a vicarage, which meant her life was filled with a tapestry of random and interesting characters. But what influenced her most was her mum, who could create stories from thin air. Heather trained as a primary teacher and taught until her sons were born. She began creating children's stories for them, and her first children's book was published in 1996. She later wrote resources for teachers, was writer-in-residence at several schools and lead whole school story writing workshops across the UK. Heather appeared on Radio 4's Women's Hour in June 2013 to discuss child bereavement. Us Minus Mum marks a return for Heather to writing fiction and is her first book with Little, Brown Young Readers.
Read a piece Heather wrote exclusively for Mumsnet on writing the book.
Us Minus Mum began its journey in Amsterdam. I'd spent the morning on my own in the Van Gogh Museum and taken in his Sunflowers painting. As I sat down for lunch in a nearby park, my foot itched. I was relaxed and in creative mode and this might sound bizarre, but as I leaned forward to scratch my foot, George jumped up and down in my head. He was quirky and sensible and funny, all at the same time.
And he had woken up in the middle of the night.
And his brother Theo was about to step on the loose floorboard on the landing.
Which would wake Mum and Dad up.
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