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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.
Charlie and Julia are certain that the sleepy village of Peddle-Worth must contain some mysteries for their brand new agency - The Milkshake Detectives - to solve. All they need to do is find them! So when somebody called 'The Bear' starts leaving strange clues, they can't wait to put their spy skills to use. The only problem? Everyone else wants to join in the bear hunt too! Not least, Charlie's new step-brothers who are quite possibly the most irritating boys on the planet. But with the competition heating up, Charlie might be missing a more important mystery. And this one lies a lot closer to home . . . Heather Butler's first novel, Us Minus Mum, has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2015 and shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards.
Us Minus Mum has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2015 and shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2015. Heart-warming as well as heart-breaking, it is the story of two brothers and their lovable mongrel finding laughter in the face of loss. 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 . . . '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