Australian writer of books for younger readers, young adults, verse novels and poetry.

Mimi and the Blue Slave

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When grief strikes, you need an ally. For Mimi, that ally is Ableth, the wildly disobedient blue slave. He comes, he goes, he says and does whatever he likes, but he’s always there when Mimi needs him most, offering his own brand of crooked wisdom. Ableth says, “You need to learn to look under the surface of things. Look at water. It’s just a great expanse of blue with little wavelets and riffs of foam. But underneath the surface are whole worlds of wonder. There are treasures and wrecks and bones…” But it’s hard to look beneath the surface when your Mum is shipwrecked by despair, and you’re the only one left to keep things afloat. There’s a bric-a-brac shop to run, your first Christmas without a dad, and quite possibly a fugitive taking refuge in your back shed. This warm, captivating story celebrates the odd families we make, as well as those we are born into.


Woolshed Press, Random House Australia, 2010


Catriona Coote

Catherine Bateson is an experienced and award-winning writer. Her gift for creating powerful, lyrically written stories that explore both the painful and joyful moments of life has given readers such gems as Rain May and Captain Daniel and Millie and the Night Heron. In Mimi's story she gives readers one of her best works yet. Mimi and the Blue Slave is full of warm, eccentric characters: Makita, Louisa's hippy, crystal-wearing, aura-sensitive sister; Ann, Mimi's very conventional, strict and bossy aunt; the different antique dealers, each with their own idiosyncracies; and Fergus, another 'shop kid' from down the road.

Through Mimi's eyes, readers learn that while change is painful, it can also help you discover who you truly are. And they learn that there are two kinds of family – the one you are born with and the one you choose for yourself when you learn who you truly are. A remarkable, richly-layered and subtle novel, full of mouth-quirking humour and pathos, Mimi and the Blue Slave is made to share.
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