Once I escaped from an orphanage to find my Mum and Dad. Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.
Once I made a Nazi with a toothache laugh.
My name is Felix . . . This is my story.
Everybody deserves to have something good in their life . . . At least once.
Once is a historical masterpiece aimed towards the younger audience. It has mature themes and the naivety and innocence of the main character, Felix, shows just how difficult it was for a child to understand what was really going on in 1942 Germany. The book has left me speechless as the 10 year old main character battles his way across a war stricken, Jew hungry Poland. Desperate to find his parents who left him in an orphanage when the war began, Felix stumbles across a young girl whose parents were killed in a house fire. Together they attempt to outwit the Nazi's and survive the war, whilst in search of safety. It shows bravery, courage and adversity that many Jewish children would have faced during World War 2. - Nadine (QBD)
Powerful and moving - a should read
This small book has enormous power. It challenges perceptions, it shocks, it educates and it tells a very human tale of a life and a very small part of it at that. Gleitzman's grandparents survived Hitler's Europe and this book is a tribute to them and the thousands of others like them. A wonderful story teller Gleitzman is frequently thought provoking and yes although the content is challenging this is a book for children. Personally I think it is a book well worth reading with or to children and discussing the history and moral issues raised. If you don't have a child to read it with, read it yourself and pass it on to someone else when you are finished.