My name’s Rab, and I write award-winning books where young carers meet aliens!

To celebrate Young Carer Action Day I wanted to tell you about my series, which is called The Late Crew! The books follow a group of four young carers, who’ve named themselves The Late Crew after all getting an unfair detention for being late. In the first book, Tyler supports his autistic young brother Levi (a space expert and hero in his own right!) to complete his routines, and helps his mother who has chronic fatigue. He also ends up looking after an alien egg, and trying to avoid a slime-controlled headteacher.

In the sequel, Alisha supports her mum with her “Letters” (what Mum calls her mental health issues) and contends with an alien that can transform into a copy of anything it sees.

But why write these books?

Because it’s extremely important that children’s books exist where young carers are the heroes. It’s EVEN MORE important that these books contain aliens! Ok, it doesn’t have to be aliens. Books where young carers are the heroes could also have dragons in them. Or unicorns. Or robots (actually, the second Late Crew book does have a robot in it…)

My point is, it’s not enough just for there to be a few “realistic” children’s books that include young carers. There also need to be books featuring young carers that are SILLY and RIDICULOUS and FUN and FUNNY and FULL OF ADVENTURE.

Because young carers –  like any other kids –  deserve to enjoy reading, have fun, AND see themselves within the story. That’s the main reason I wrote The Late Crew series, above all else.

I had a few other aims in mind as well. I wanted to make sure young carers’ families were positively represented, so that families could enjoy it together. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to read (short chapters, people!), so it was accessible.

I also wanted it to be (gasp!) educational. The more people that understand what the phrase “young carer” means, as well as the different shapes families can take, the better. Sometimes topics like this are hard to explain, but when you tell them in a story, people understand what you’re talking about.

When kids understand, they’re more able to identify if they are a young carer, and are more able to empathise with friends who might have caring responsibilities. When teachers and other adults understand, they’re more able to support young carers and their families.

This brings us right back round to FUN. (Yes, I like capital letters. I make no apologies. The Late Crew books have sound effects in GIANT FONTS). If you want kids (and teachers) to read your books and learn lessons from them, the books have to be capital letters FUN.

It’s so important to raise awareness and understanding around young carers and what they do – not least so that young carers don’t feel alone. I hope my books can help that cause. And my message for others raising awareness too? Don’t forget to bring the aliens. And the dragons. And the unicorns. And the robots.

The first The Late Crew book is being re-released by Valley Press, alongside the new sequel, with pre-orders available now to arrive in Summer.  Each pre-order massively helps Rab to share the series and its young carer heroes more widely – and guarantees excitement in Summer when the book drops through your letterbox!

To find out more about Rab’s work with schools and charities, visit The Late Crew website –

Pre-order The Late Crew and it’s sequel here!