- blog written by Rab Ferguson

Tyler Harper is 11 years old. He’s a young carer, who helps support his Mum who has a condition called ME, and his autistic young brother Levi. He’s also trying his very best to look after an ALIEN egg…

The Late Crew - Tyler, Levi, and Mum.

Here's Tyler, Levi and their Mum together.

Okay, so maybe I should start from the beginning. My name's Rab Ferguson, and I'm a children's author. Tyler is the main character in my new book for 8-12 year olds, The Late Crew. It's the first in my new series, about young carers who investigate aliens in their town.

I wrote The Late Crew because I think every young person deserves to see themselves as the hero in a children's book - and that includes young carers. I don't think there's enough kid's books with young carers in them that are WACKY and FUN, rather than serious. Young carers should get to have alien adventures too!

Tyler's caring responsibilities are a big part of the book. He helps Levi keep to his routines, works out with Mum how to use her spoons (which is a way of talking about how much energy she has for the day), and does tasks like shopping or clothes washing for the family. Being a carer is also the reason he's picked by an alien to take care of the egg - it makes him perfect for the task.

The Late Crew by Rab Ferguson - Front Cover

This is the cover. The Late Crew are a group of young carers who all met in an unfair detention.

I hope writing about caring in this way will achieve these three things:

  1. Young carers who read it will be excited to see themselves in a book!
  2. Other young people who read it understand a bit more what it means to be a carer.
  3. Some children will read it and realise that they are a carer, even if they didn't know it before.

Another benefit of writing a book like this, is that it can help children learn about all the different people that can make up a family, and the shapes that can take. The Late Crew helps the reader learn a little more about chronic fatigue (ME) and Autism, and what those terms mean.

It's really important to me to represent the families around young carers in a positive way. I think a lot of media has shown young people being carers as a "sad" situation, and I wanted to show all the love that can exist instead!

Tyler, Levi, and the alien egg - The Late Crew

Here's Tyler and his brother Levi, with a certain alien egg in the background.

If you'd like to buy a copy of The Late Crew, you can get it from; 

ONWE: https://www.onwe.co/product-page/the-late-crew


If you pop into a Waterstones, you can also order it in (one day myself and the publisher hope to have it on Waterstones bookshelves too!)

You can also sign up to a mailing list to be updated with news about The Late Crew, and to be notified when new books in the series come out! Just email [email protected] and let me know you want to be on the list. 

You can also email that address if there's any schools you think should have a copy of this book, or if you'd like to let us know any questions or thoughts about the book. It's myself that will read any emails that come in, so I'd love to hear from you!