The Book

Catherine is a writer, teacher and journalist from Bath, England and We Can Be Heroes was her debut novel.


Catherine says:


In 2008, I wrote an article for ‘The Times’ about children who had lost a parent in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I included interviews with three American teenagers and a British boy who had lost his father in the 7th July London bombings. The voices of those young people really stayed with me and gave me the idea for the book.


Catherine Bruton

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Loads of other things inspired me after that: the Year 7 boys doodling Manga cartoons in my lessons; an article I wrote about kids who never see their mums; the Madeleine McCann abduction; re-reading ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ (my favourite novel when I was a teenager and still now); a joke somebody made about a terrorist moving in across the road; my little girl’s obsession with wheelie shoes; the film ‘Son of Rambow’; something one of my Year 10s said about drawing pictures of planes flying into towers; a Muslim wedding in our road, and loads, loads more. Sometimes I can’t even remember where I half my ideas from!




We Can Be Heroes is an astonishing story sitting alongside Millions, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and How I Live Now as one of the most ambitious and iconic stories for children.


‘Outstanding . . . A big, brave debut’ – The Bookseller


‘This is a book with high ambitions – it tries to do many things and pulls them all off – tender, sad, but also tense and exciting. An excellent read’ – Anthony McGowan


‘Astonishing, inventive . . . A remarkable piece of work’ – Books for Keeps


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