As Catherine Bruton, I write books for readers of all ages. My fiction for children and young adults has earned me national and international acclaim. I have also recently ventured into the world of grown up fiction, with my debut romantic comedy ‘Confessions of  a Helicopter Mummy’. You can find out more about each of my books below:

Children’s FictionFiction for Grown-ups
Bird Boy – Coming soon!
Following Frankenstein
Another Twist in the Tail
No Ballet Shoes in Syria
I Predict a Riot
We Can be Heroes
Confessions of a Helicopter Mummy

Bird Boy

– pre-order on Amazon

From the multi-award-winning author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria, comes a story of migration, conservation, healing and hope as a grieving boy forms an unbreakable bond with an injured bird.

After the tragic death of his mother, eleven year old Will is sent to temporarily stay with his uncle in the mountains. After years trapped in a high-rise flat, with only birds for company, Will doesn’t know how he’ll survive a place like this, but he soon finds solace in the woods, when he’s surrounded by birdsong.

With his new friend Omar – a refugee from Afghanistan – Will discovers an osprey nest, with two small chicks inside. He forms an unbreakable bond with the birds, especially the smallest chick, who they name Whitetip. But when tragedy almost strikes again one stormy night, and Whitetip is knocked out of the nest – breaking a wing, Will is determined to save her. Smuggling her down from the mountain, he finds a way to keep her alive.

As Will helps Whitetip to grow and to heal, he finds a strength inside himself that he never knew he had. Maybe, finally, Will can find a way to take flight too…

“Vivid and deeply empathetic, Catherine is a wonderful storyteller.” – Phil Earle

“A wonderfully moving story about the healing power of nature, perfect for fans of Phil Earle and Katya Balen” – Anthony McGowan

“Unputdownable. A gift to nature loving young people” – Hilary McKay

“A heart-felt story about the healing power of nature. Moving and powerful, I loved it” – Gill Lewis

Confessions of a Helicopter Mummy

Fun-loving, intelligent, sexy journalist and single mum… seeks companionship (ideally), love (possibly), sex (definitely maybe!); laughter (compulsory)…. with like-minded, clever, cute middle-aged single man (no ‘still-married-but-my-wife-doesn’t-get-me’s need apply) Ideally based in the SW…

Parenting journalist Anni is 46 and mum to teenage daughter, Cassie.
It’s two years since her philandering first (and only) love Joel walked out taking the last of her self-confidence with him and she has remained resolutely single ever since.
Her friends decide it’s high time she was back in the dating game; they set up a Tinder profile to encourage her to venture out of her slippers and into her Louboutains.

But Anni is woefully unprepared for the virtual world of romance and trying to learn the protocols of social media might just be a Bitmoji too far…

Swipe right for the most sparkling romantic comedy of the year !

Pre-order here at Amazon

Following Frankenstein

A brilliantly-conceived and hugely imaginative ‘sequel’ to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Following Frankenstein is a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, perfect for 9-12 year olds.

Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong?

Maggie Walton’s father has dedicated his life to a single pursuit: hunting down the monster created by Victor Frankenstein. It has cost Maggie and her family everything – and now her father is staking everything on one last voyage to the Arctic, with Maggie secretly in tow, where he hopes to find the monster at last.

But there they make a shocking discovery: Frankenstein’s monster has a son…

A breath-taking, epic adventure, spanning the icy wastes of the Arctic Tundra to the vaudeville circus of New York, from the award-winning author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria and Another Twist in the Tale. talks about the inspiration for ‘Following Frankenstein’ and reads from the opening chapterPre-order Following Frankenstein from Amazon

Following Frankenstein cover reveal

Another Twist in the Tail

Shortlisted for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2021

‘Another Twist in the Tale’  is a rip-roaring sequel to Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’, set in Victorian London and featuring Oliver’s long  lost twin sister.  Rediscover the Artful Dodger, Fagin and Oliver Twist himself, along with a host of fantastic new heroes and villains  in this brilliantly imagined sequel to Dickens’ much loved classic!

This is the story of Twill Twist –  the orphan baby cast out into the snow  and rescued by a young kitchen maid named Baggage Jones. Baggage takes the baby back to the Black Jack Gaming Hell of Camberwell Grove, run by the formidable – and gargantuan – Madame Manzoni and the terrifying Mrs Spanks and her Spoon – where Twill is raised surrounded by card sharks and gamblers and the beautiful butterfly girls, loved by her Baggage, learning  that girls have to fight to survive in Queen Victoria’s England, and blissfully unaware that her twin brother is now heir to a great fortune.


Why don’t you whet your appetite with this special preview of the first 4 chapters.


Teaching Resources

We have also produced some Activity packs which we hope you will enjoy – they can be downloaded here as PDFs.  There is a teaching pack, some activity sheets and some stylish bookmarks!

No Ballet Shoes in Syria


Winner of #BooksAreMyBag  Award for Children’s Fiction 2019, The Middle East Children’s Book Prize 2020 and the Cheshire Children’s Book Award 2020

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

Catherine Bruton introduces No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Preview //

“Wise and kind and unputdownable.“ – Hilary McKay, Costa Book Prize-winning author of The Skylarks’ War

“A perfect balance of tragedy and triumph.” – Natasha Farrant, author of The Children of Castle Rock

“A moving story about one of the big issues of our time, told with wonderful clarity, and incredibly touching.” – Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo

“A moving, textured story … Ballet Shoes for the 21st century” – The Times

I Predict a Riot

It’s been a year since everything happened, but I still have bad dreams. Dreams of me and Tokes and Little Pea, racing through burning streets on the night the city was in flames…

Welcome to Coronation Road – a kaleidoscope of clashing cultures and parallel lives. There’s Maggie and her politician mum in their big house. There’s Tokes and his mum in a tiny bedsit, running from trouble. And there’s the ruthless Starfish gang, breeding fear throughout the neighbourhood.

Amateur film-maker Maggie prefers to watch life through the lens of her camera. In Tokes, she finds a great subject for her new film. And when violence erupts, led by the Starfish gang, Maggie has the perfect backdrop. But as the world explodes around her, Maggie can’t hide behind the lens any more…

Explosive drama, perfect for fans of Meg Rosoff and Annabel Pitcher.


The first round of auditions was a bit mad. All these wannabe popstars sitting around trying to look wacky/soulful/tragic (delete as appropriate) to catch the attention of the TV cameras.

At least we had a cracking back story. The story of me, Agnes, Jimmy and baby Alfie; the tears, the tragedy, the broken homes and feuding families, the star-crossed lovers. And only some of it was made up.

If I say so myself, it was genius: a sure-fire golden ticket to stratospheric stardom. Or at least that was the plan…

Pop! is a hilarious and heartbreaking tale of talent shows, strikes, recession, broken homes and olympic dreams. It’s been described as ‘Billy Elliot meets The X Factor via Shameless’ (The Bookseller). If you like Frank Cottrell Boyce, you’ll love this!

We Can be Heroes

Nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Now a feature film, starring Alison Steadman and Phil Davies

My dad was killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York. But the stuff in this book isn’t about that. It’s about the summer me and Jed and Priti tried to catch a suicide bomber and started a riot.There’s stuff about how we built a tree house and joined the bomb squad; how I found my dad and Jed lost his; and how we both lost our mums then found them again.So it’s not really about 9/11 but then again none of those things would have happened if it hadn’t been for that day. So I guess it’s all back to front, sort of …

We Can be Heroes tells the story of 12 year old Ben, whose father died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York. Ben meets 10 year old Priti, a Muslim girl who is convinced her brother is a suicide bomber. The pair decide to turn detective to try and foil the bomb plot with hilarious – and explosive – consequences.

We Can be Heroes is aimed at reader from eleven to 111. It has been described in The Bookseller as ‘an outstanding debut’ and ‘one to watch’, Alan Gibbons says in Books for Keeps, ‘ This is an astonishing, inventive book that deals with serious issues in an endearing, humorous way. It is a remarkable piece of work.’ Hazel Holmes’ review on Chicklish says, ‘Bruton is brilliant…This is an exceptional debut, an important book that is tender, funny, sometimes uncomfortable but also incredibly sensitive’. And a recent review in The Bookbag describes We Can be Heroes as, ‘An important book: brave, honest, funny and very tense.’

We Can be Heroes was inspired by an article I wrote for The Times in 2008 about children who had lost a parent in 9/11 attacks and it has been compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-time, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Millions.

We Can be Heroes is now a family feature, starring Alison Steadman and Phil Davies.


Catherine also writes under the name of Cate Shearwater – find out more about Cate’s books here.