Once by Morris Gleitzman

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. I thought using the last word of a sentence taken from the text as a title was an interesting way to entice the reader in.

The image on the front cover prepare the reader as to the type of story they will experience, the Jewish experience during WWII but this time it is told from the point of view of a child.

We meet Felix in an orphanage where he has been placed by is parents in a desperate bid on their part to keep him safe from the fate they knew awaited them if they were capture by the Nazis. It is never made clear if they have been taken away to the death camps, it’s just hinted at.

In this tale we get a sence of how the innocence of childhood protected Felix from the true horrors for long time. His main concern, like most children was about the return of his parents to collect him. He builds mental strategies to help him cope with what is going on. Despite this situation he retains the ability to forge friendships in the orphanage and in the world outside.

Felix is forced to deal with the terrible circumstances he finds himself in, forging new relationships and surviving.

This book joins a group of books that looks at conflict from a child’s point of view. Two more books that tackle war in this way are Oranges in No Mans Land by Elizabeth Laird, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.


About booksfrommybookshelf

I am a passionate reader of children's books (Primary aged) with a particular interest in picture books. I am always on the look out for children's books at are written by authors from other countries. I am also keen on technology and try to keep abreast of what is happening in a fast changing world. At present my day job is to support teachers and local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region (UK), which I really enjoy. Another aspect of my work is to present nationally developed work for the National Strategies. With economic cuts my job will terminate in Spring next year and I may be carrying out independent work based around high quality picture books. My other interest include my allotment, knitting and last but not least my family. My Twitter name is Orlama.
This entry was posted in Relationships, Short Novels, War/The impact of war and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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