Cloud Boy by Marcia Williams is written as if it is the diary of Angela Moon. I enjoy this format as it cuts out unnecessary descriptions and allows the story to move at a good pace. The story is written in a fun and engaging way and tells of the adventures Angela has with her best friend, Harry Christmas who is the same age and lives next door. He is fascinated by cloud formations. Early in the story, Angela’s great-grandma, Gertrude, comes to stay as Angela’s mother has recently had a baby and needs some help. She plays a key role in the book.
After about a month of diary entries, Harry becomes unwell and the story takes a sad turn. The reader is never told what is wrong with Harry, but he has an operation and later chemotherapy.
The grief of Harry’s situation is compounded by Gertrude’s story, told through a series of letters, of the time she spent as a young girl in a prisoner-of-war camp. Marcia Williams uses the grandmother’s letters as a way of encouraging resilient and perseverance in Angela and Harry. I don’t think this worked very well because it meant that the reader has to cope with two tragic stories, running parallel through the latter stages of the book.
The book is aimed at primary school children and while the story is well-written and engaging, it’s a very sad story that some children may find upsetting.
Thanks to Christian School Supplier for providing a free book for review.