The Stickleback Catchers

The Stickleback Catchers


'A magic realist fight to save a beloved grandmother from dementia . . . dialect, disability, neurodivergence and gender-nonconformity were all woven incidentally into this open-hearted book - Guardian Best Children's Books of 2023

Mimi adores her wild, fun, full-of-life gran. Then Gran starts forgetting things. Suddenly there are cracks appearing all around their home - and a mysterious black crow - both of which only Mimi seems able to see.

Mimi is determined to solve the mystery. Luckily she has new friends to help: Titch and Nusrat. Together, they're the Stickleback Catchers: solvers of puzzles and seekers of adventure.

Down by the river, where the gang meet and the silvery sticklebacks swim, they discover a mysterious stone, speckled with stars. But this is no ordinary stone: it's the doorway to another world, a world of talking crows and secrets, magical constellations and memories - and maybe, just maybe, Mimi's chance to bring back Gran forever...


  • Touching, original and compelling, this is a nostalgic novel about old-fashioned childhoods, but it is also very much of our time.
    Children's Book of the Week, Sunday Times

About the author

Lisette Auton

Lisette Auton is a northern disabled writer, activist, poet, novelist, spoken-word artist, actor, film and theatre-maker, and creative practitioner. She's an award-winning poet who has performed at Northern Stage, ARC, the Southbank Centre and the Sage, in pubs, in a crypt, at festivals, indoors, outdoors, on a bridge and in a launderette.
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