Over the June long weekend I decided to read the Morris Gleitzman holocaust trilogy ‘Once’, ‘Then’ and ‘Now’.
The first two books in the series were moving, frightening and elegant. The tension gradually built up as the Nazi’s arrived, changing everyone’s lives. Gleitzman carefully, inevitably prepared us for the heart-breaking conclusion of ‘Then’.
I was unsure how ‘Now’ could move on from this without appearing trite or contrived.
Gleitzman managed to avoid this by jumping ahead to modern day Australia and the tragedy of the recent Victorian bushfires.
I’m glad that Gleitzman wrote ‘Now’.
I’m glad that the story didn’t end with the sadness and horror of ‘Then’.
I’m glad we get to see Felix grow old with dignity and grace.
Kate di Camillo once said that when writing books for children you were duty bound to end with hope. Morris Gleitzman brings this trilogy to a satisfying and hopeful conclusion.
This series would be suitable for mature 10+ readers.
Once by Morris Gleitzman is the story of a young Jewish boy who is determined to escape the orphanage he lives in to save his Jewish parents from the Nazis in the occupied Poland of the Second World War.
Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once.
Once I escaped from an orphanage to find 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.