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The true story behind Cloud Boy

By Saskia Calliste

Former prisoner of war, Olga Henderson accompanies Marcia Williams to the festival. 

Marcia Williams reading her book Cloud Boy.

Master storyteller Marcia Williams, author and illustrator of Mr William Shakespeare’s PlaysGreek Myths for Young Children and Three Cheers for Woman and many many more, has written her first novel! Cloud Boy is a beautifully told story based on the life of Olga Henderson, who was a prisoner in the Changi jail in Singapore from aged 10 during World War Two. Not only Marcia, but Olga herself joined us at the festival this year for an extraordinary event, during which Olga shared some of her memories. Even though they were covering a serious subject, Marcia and Olga made the event fun, engaging and insightful for parents and kids alike.

“I heard Olga’s story ten years ago, I just didn’t know how to write it,” explained Marcia. She told us that the inspiration for her novel not only came from Olga’s story, but from the support her grandson’s friends showed him when he fell ill — as well as meeting a little girl who liked to write letters to her cat!

Olga Henderson (left) and Marcia Wlliams (right) signing books.

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