Reviewed by Ana Chen Liao
Cancer. This one word can turn a person’s world upside down. This disease does not just shake one person, but also his or her family in profound ways. It is especially challenging for children to face death at such a young age. Us Minus Mum is about how a mother’s terminal brain cancer affects her husband and two young sons. You can’t help but fall in love with this adorable family and empathize with their struggles.
The book is narrated by the older son, George, and the author has perfectly captured the musings of a young child’s mind. His life is normal, filled with things such as best friends, bullies, art class – until he finds out about his mother’s diagnosis. In the span of a few days, his happy days become tainted by dark thoughts. George’s family tries to continue a level of normalcy and there are many funny moments involving the family dog, Goffo.
Despite the deterioration of his mother’s health, George’s last memories of his mother are filled with happiness such as a trip to the zoo and a pet competition. Make sure you have a box of tissues ready because the ending is truly heart-breaking. Heather Butler perfectly captures the process young children go through while coping with cancer and death.
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Besides books, Ana Chen Liao also loves to review restaurants on Yelp.
Ebook available for Us Minus Mum.