Written by Morris Gleitzman
Part of the Once/Now/Then/After Series
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
A moving and convincing child-eye view of what happened to the children of Poland after the Germans invaded. Felix has been placed by his parents in an orphanage for safe-keeping but, when the Germans come and burn the books in the orphanage library, Felix knows he must set out to return to his parents who are booksellers and make sure they are safe. Felix’s journey is dangerous and desperate but also full of courage and hope in a world where friendships and loyalty are the glue that hold things together.
Gleitzman's second novel in this series, Then, is out in January 2009.
Once. by Morris Gleitzman
For three years and eight months Felix has lived in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. But Felix is different from the other orphans. He is convinced his parents are still alive and will come back to get him. When a group of Nazi soldiers come and burn the nuns' books, Felix is terrified that his Jewish, bookseller parents will also be in danger. After escaping from the orphanage, Felix embarks on a long and dangerous journey through Nazi occupied Poland, befriending a little orphan girl called Zelda and a kindly dentist, Barney, who hides and cares for Jewish children. But when the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children.
; like The Book Thief (rev. 3/06), the novel extols the power of storytelling in the face of tragedy, but Once pits Felix's stories against even deeper ugliness. ... Gleitzman manages to find a grain of hope in the unresolved (and likely dire) conclusion, but this is the rare Holocaust book for young readers that doesn't alleviate its dark themes with a comforting ending. -- The Horn Book, Starred Review This gripping novel will make readers want to find out more -- Booklist
About the Author
Paperback (b Format)
Interest Age: From 9
More books by Morris Gleitzman
Penguin Books Ltd
23rd February 2006
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