After is the fourth book in Gleitzman’s series about Felix.
After came as a bit of a surprise for all of us, including Gleitzman himself. We all thought the story was done and dusted after Now. But it turns out that Felix had more to say.
After takes us back to the war. Felix is still in hiding in Gabriek’s barn, but the Russians are on their way and the German’s are fleeing…burning and pillaging as they leave.
After sees Felix and Gabriek helping the Partisans, fleeing the Germans and Allied bombing and confronting the reality of the concentration camps.
As with the other three novels, the story is told simply though the young Felix’s eyes. Despite (or maybe because of) the juvenile language and thinking processes, the emotional impact is quite powerful in places.
Gleitzman has written a wonderful series for younger readers that takes them into the heart of Nazi Germany and the effects of the Holocaust. In spite of all the horror and heartbreak, he shows us the power of resilience, hope and love.
Mature 8+ readers could manage this although the content is aimed more at the 10+ reading level.