Us Minus Mum by Heather Butler

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the 2015 UKLA Book Awards 7-11 years - Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2015 Heart-warming as well as heart-breaking, Us Minus Mum is the story of two brothers and their lovable mongrel finding laughter in the face of loss.


Us Minus Mum by Heather Butler

George and Theo's mum is 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 a scruffy dog called Goffo. The boys think she's invincible. But they're wrong. Because Mum is ill. Really ill. It's up to George 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 ...


Heather Butler's debut novel tackles a difficult subject with sensitivity, a lack of mawkishness, and numerous fart jokes ... the depiction of George's unfolding emotional state - anger, guilt, fear - is believable and beautifully done The Financial Times

Us Minus Mum is a perfectly-judged, wonderfully-observed story of coming to terms with the loss of a parent and coping with grief. It's also a funny and delightful portrait of a family that is probably different from your family, but just like it, too. I loved it and heartily recommend it to every single reader of 9 and up. The Bookbag

... brilliant characters, plenty of action, snappy dialogue ... It's heartbreaking, yes - but uplifting and enlightening, too. Teach Primary

This is such a skilfully told and often hilarious story, which captures the very essence of a ten year old boy in George the narrator...The author, who has written on bereavement counselling, does not put a foot wrong in showing us, with incredible pathos and sincerity, what it is really like for young children to not be told the truth and how families can help each other through impossibly difficult circumstances. Wonderfully observed, funny and touching, this little gem will strike a real chord with readers of all ages. -- Joy Court Reading Zone

About the Author

Heather 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. They often brought toys and other objects to her to be included in bedtime stories. Her sons grew older, but Heather carried on creating, her first children's story book being 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. She discussed her book Helping Children Think About Bereavement (Routledge 2013) on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour just as Us Minus Mum was accepted for publication. It marks a return to writing fiction and is her first book with Little, Brown.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Heather Butler
More books by Heather Butler


Little, Brown Young Readers an imprint of Hachette Children's Group

Publication date

6th February 2014




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