How would you react if a stranger told you your ten year old son was going to die?
A Mighty Boy is a story about love and loss. The book is an account of our journey as a family after our ten year old son, Silas, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour - from the instant those fateful words were spoken to his death and beyond.
This book shows that it is possible to find the strength for a journey that you don’t want to go on; that it is possible to find a new way to live even when death is knocking on the door. It is a book about wrapping a small boy in love but still letting him get grubby knees. It is about learning to savour every moment of the here and now yet also learning to let go.
It is a book about grief too, in all its many guises, and the search to find a way to mourn in this modern world. Grief can be ugly and raw and at times incomprehensible yet it has to be better to confront it than hide it away behind closed doors.
At its heart, though, A Mighty Boy is a story of the love between a mother and a son. It is a book about seizing the moment and somehow managing to survive the death of a child, but most of all it is a book about a small, smiling boy.
"This is one of the most profoundly moving and honest books that I have read. The author writes about grief in a way that is both clear-eyed and emotionally charged. Silas inhabits the book completely and the author does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to get to know her son." Euan Thorneycroft of A.M. Heath Literary Agency
Brain tumours kill more children than any other cancer and yet receive barely any funding. I hope A Mighty Boy can help change that as no parent should ever have to hear a stranger tell them their child is going to die. I hope you will support this book as once the initial subscription has been raised then my share of the profits (50% of every book sold) will go to The Silas Pullen Fund (a fund we set up after Silas died under the umbrella of The Brain Tumour Charity). This book will also contain a memorial list for children who have lost their lives to a brain tumour. We will contact subscribers for names and dates before the book goes to press.
I don’t shy away from the boys seeing me cry.
I’ve spent much time teaching them about empathy over the years. I read all the usual childcare books when they were small. They were full of stark warnings about the difficulties boys have in expressing their feelings or connecting emotionally with others. So I would sit all four of them in the bath together and we would play a stupid game. I would make a variety of expressive faces and I would get them to guess what emotion I was displaying.
“Anger,” they would yell, as I drew my eyebrows down and squeezed my lips together.
“Surprise,” they chorused, as I widened my eyes and drew my head back.
I tilted my head and looked up out the corner of my eyes. I lifted up one corner of my top lip. They looked at each other and shrugged. I scratched my head.
“Confused,” the oldest two finally shouted.
I hunched my shoulders and let my mouth droop. “Sad,” said Oscar, delighted to get one over his younger brothers.
“Don’t be sad, Mummy,” said a three year old Silas, putting a wet arm around my shoulders and planting a soggy kiss on my lips.
Dear Endlessly Patient Subscribers
I just wanted to let you know that A Mighty Boy went to print at the end of May. It has been a long process but I think the finished book will look fantastic - I have included a sneak preview of the cover of the Special Edition - and the end papers are beautiful - the team at Unbound have done a wonderful job.
I hope that it will land on your doorsteps in…
I mentioned in my original campaign that there would be an In Memoriam page at the end of the book for anybody who wanted to add the name of a loved one who has died of a brain tumour. If you have someone in mind, then please could you fill in this google form - https://goo.gl/forms/mrLAvoUCvSlGOlhg1. Any problems with this, then please contact Georgia Odd at Unbound at georgia…
A Mighty Boy is scheduled to be published on 28th August (although you should all receive your copies in advance).
It seems an age away still but there is a lot to do: copy-editing; type-setting; design; proof-reading and the rest. I imagine it will be upon me before I know it.
The Unbound team and I have decided on a cover picture, which will be familiar to some, and there has been lots of…
Summer is over and you are probably all wondering when you are going to get your hands on your copy of A Mighty Boy. The short answer is not for a while yet, I'm afraid. This publishing lark is a tricky business with long lead-in times. It looks as though the book will not come out until summer next year but I have no firm publication date yet. However, all those who have pledged will recieve their…
I can't believe we have done it - fully funded in just under two weeks - truly amazing! Thank you to everyone who has come along for the ride - thanks to you A Mighty Boy is going to be published and in the shops.....!
It is a strange feeling. My eldest son, Oscar, asked me why I wasn't celebrating last night after we hit the 100% mark and the page lit up red. I tried to explain that although it…
What can I say?
I have been blown away by the support for the book so far - 50% funded in just over two days. It has been a whirlwind! I only saw the video for the first time at the weekend and my feet have barely touched the ground since, although I notice the cat has still managed to cling on to a place on my lap!
If Silas was here, I know he would be craning his neck over my shoulder, his…
These people are helping to fund A Mighty Boy.