(7 customer reviews)
Publication Date: Oct. 28, 2021
Categories: Young Adult, Young ChildrenISBN: 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.
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.