Moth Boy

Moth Boy

By Clare Hudman

Format: Paperback

(18 customer reviews)

Publication Date: 28 Oct 2021


Categories: Young Adult, Young Children

ISBN: 9781913913533


10 years ago, Ches was left on a Cheltenham doorstep in a plastic bag, with a letter from his birth mother. The letter is his to read tomorrow, on his birthday. Ches panics, not ready to face his fears, and runs away from his unusual but fiercely loving adoptive family. Angry and scared he finds refuge for the night in a garden shed determined to avoid his birthday the next day. 

He falls into the hands of his school tormentor, Raffy. Raffy disguises Ches as a girl and leads him astray on an unforgettable birthday adventure on bikes and trains to Brean Down near Weston-Super-Mare. Is Raffy a new friend or still an enemy? Both Ches and Raffy are seeking an answer to the same, universal questions – am I lovable? Am I loved? A life and death moment nudges them towards discovering some answers for themselves. 

So how can Nana Lil, befuddled by too much alcohol sloshing around in her brains, be of any help to Ches? Isn’t she the very last person he needs right now?

Heart-warming and vivid, Moth Boy is a compelling adventure story.

Clare Hudman has worked with school children to create stained glass public art (her work is in Gloucester Royal Hospital, many schools in Gloucestershire, and in Weston-Super-Mare too). She has created exciting theatre for young people, often with Travelling Light Theatre in Bristol. She has worked as a stilt-walker named Winnie Parsley. Clare was fostered as a child and has worked in children’s homes. Moth Boy emerged from this experience. She now works part-time as a therapist for young people, to give herself time to write books. She lives in Stroud.


Laurie King (Guest Review) - 17 Apr, 2023

A fantastic, fun, thought-provoking adventure story! Although it's aimed at young adults I really enjoyed it and found that I could focus better on it than a lot of adult fiction. The character development, particularly the main character, Ches, is really wonderful - I felt such a connection to him and was rooting for him from the very beginning. The ending was particularly moving and did bring tears to my eyes!

Tessa Liebschner (Guest Review) - 30 Jan, 2023

Moth Boy was the perfect book for me to read after a long break from reading, lively and easy to get swept along with. It was great, full of interesting characters and suspense and I am looking forward to the next one.

Jeremy Green (Guest Review) - 29 Oct, 2021

This is a book for children, but it's a good read for adults too. It's thoughtful, reflective, and gripping all at the same time. I'm trying to avoid spoilers here because part of the pleasure is the plotting, but it touches on a lot of issues, including personal identity, gender roles, and what it's like to be an adopted child. All of these are addressed with sensitivity but without awkwardness. It's also a very enjoyable read, with beautiful but accessible writing, and some wonderful place descriptions. I've been to the places she describes, and the book really does bring them to life off the page. If you've got a pre-teen or young teen who enjoys reading, or one that you'd like to enjoy reading more, then buy them this book, and then buy one for yourself.

Neil Buick (Guest Review) - 16 Nov, 2021

I loved this tale of two 10 year old boys who, through a tense friendship over 24 hours, find themselves coming to terms with their mixed feelings about family and abandonment. The author sensitively tells the story with the anxious, and sometimes humorous, voice of Ches, a child left at birth on a doorstep by his mother. Wonderful story-telling that builds chapter by chapter to an ending that will make you cry.

APH Mann (Guest Review) - 22 Nov, 2021

A wonderfully evocative novella by a new multi talented writer. The reader is taken on a roller coaster, slightly chilling adventure through the eyes & ears of two unusual youngsters, growing up as they journey. Behind the fast pace of the tale runs a subtle message about loneliness, society, adoption & friendship. An enjoyable old fashioned read without any reference to social media!

Linny (Guest Review) - 07 Dec, 2021

Read this in 2 short sittings (my 13 year old daughter read it in one). It's a fast paced adventure full of humour and pathos, fear and joy that just carries you along, a bit like Ches, wondering how (or if) it's all going to work out. Some delightful moments involving bikes and wigs, but also real, believable characters whose struggles and stories all weave into Ches'. HIghly recommended.

Helen and Nigel Pitel (Guest Review) - 15 Nov, 2021

We have both read and enjoyed this delightful story set locally in Gloucestershire. Aimed primarily at a youngish readership, Clare tells a fast paced and exciting story encompassing adventure and danger. Concise and hard to put down, read in a couple of sessions, It relates this narrative in the context of some challenging family cicumstances which will encouage her readers to think about the impact on both mother and child of being adopted at a very young age. It raises very sensitively isssues of race, gender and identity which will resonate with today's readers and their wider experiences of school and home. In a nice twist, it also reveals the fragility of an apparently assured main character which helps to explain many of his conficting and paradoxical behaviours. Well done and thank you.

Jola (Guest Review) - 09 Dec, 2021

I enjoyed reading Moth Boy. I'm now going to give it to a younger relative, though I think it could be enjoyed by any age. Great story, surprisingly gripping in places. I love the font (that might seem a strange thing to say, but I notice!) And I think it is beautifully designed.
Congratulations to the author, this is a lovely piece of work.

Caroline Harmer (Guest Review) - 23 Dec, 2021

I loved this book. It’s a real page turner of a story about a boy who has been abandoned on a doorstep at birth and adopted. On the cusp of his 10th birthday, he is forced to face up to all kinds of issues and re-examine relationships in his life. It touches on a lot of quite grown up themes but I think would be suitable for children of both sexes from maybe year 7/8 upwards. It’s gripping and very sensitively written and is a lovely mix of genres – the boys’ adventure element will pull younger readers in and there’s plenty in there for adults too. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

Anette Holtmeyer-Cole (Guest Review) - 20 Jan, 2022

A beautiful story told very sensitively from the perspective of a 10-year old adopted boy. It draws you in straight away and leads you into his live, with his problems that he may face, touching on many more subjects relevant to 10-year olds as well as adults. However, it is not just a serious book - it invites the reader to come along on the adventure and explore places in a new light.

Jed (Guest Review) - 28 Jan, 2022

This is the heartwarming story of Ches, who on his tenth birthday, has a dangerous, memorable adventure with his “cousin” Raffy. It’s a beautifully written, exciting page turner which handles the important themes of belonging and identity with compassion and understanding. I didn’t want it to stop.

Alison Masters-Clark (Guest Review) - 01 Feb, 2022

What a wonderful read. I was drawn in pretty quickly to Ches' world and felt his anxieties keenly. School, growing up , belonging and needing control when everything seems beyond that .
Clare has written from the heart , a story that could surely help so many youngsters and adults alike to have deeper empathy with each others vulnerabilities.

David Williams (Guest Review) - 24 Mar, 2022

I really enjoyed reading ‘Moth Boy’ which is an intriguing title that makes sense at the end.
The adventure takes you on a journey of emotions through the main character Chez and how he deals with being adopted and not knowing is birth mother. There’s a lot in this book and a great range of characters.
Well done Clare Hudman.

Sarah michael (Guest Review) - 27 Mar, 2022

My son who is 10 read this book. He said it flowed really well and he loved the language and how modern it was. Its great when he finds a book he cant Put down.

RABaker (Guest Review) - 27 Feb, 2022

I sat down and devoured this kind and clever book in one sitting I enjoyed it so much. It takes you on a real adventure which will lead you to read on and on. It's a modern story of discovery and family that I think would be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Clare has a gift of storytelling with a purpose. This book is being instantly passed on to more friends to enjoy.

alison williams (Guest Review) - 08 Mar, 2022

Moth boy is an adventure aimed at pre- teen age kids it was a great read for me. I’m a big kid aged 59. I swallowed the book in one sitting and enjoyed its emotional context. It asks some profound questions like what family life is today and what makes a normal family. It is great content for children and young people developing into young adults with questions about relationships and enough action and adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended

Graham Baker (Guest Review) - 26 Mar, 2022

A very touching story written with pace, drama and empathy. Every school library should have a copy. More please !

Sue Sharp (Guest Review) - 21 Mar, 2022

Absolutely loved it and couldn’t put it down. Have ordered a copy for my nieces ( 9 & 11 ) and look forward to discussing with them. So many important issues are covered , being an adopted child, racism, sexism, sexuality, and more, but done so in a thoroughly readable way leaving the reader to ponder and reflect. Looking forward to the prequel and sequel.

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