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Once by Morris Gleitzman
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Once (2005)

by Morris Gleitzman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Once (1)

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5714417,406 (4.17)55
  1. 00
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    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (mybookshelf)
    mybookshelf: Both have a young male protagonist who doesn't initially realise the significance of what's going on around him.
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    Run, Boy, Run by Uri Orlev (meggyweg)
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» See also 55 mentions

English (43)  Spanish (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
- audiobook - A little Jewish boy named Felix lives in Poland at a Catholic orphanage, even though he knows for sure that his parents are still alive somewhere. He is waiting for them to come back and get him when he is forced into action by the arrival of strangers at the orphanage. The strangers are called "Nazis" and from what Felix can tell, they hate books and want to burn them. This is unfortunate for Felix, because his parents are booksellers. So he escapes from the orphanage to find his way back home and save his parents' books from being burned by Nazis.

It feels wrong to say that my favorite thing about this story was how short it was, but there really is a certain integrity to the fact that it doesn't drag on and on. I found Felix's very strong obliviousness and denial annoying at first, but he eventually comes around. His journey is very difficult - not just the physical journey, but his emotional realization that he has been shielded from the evil of the world his whole life. When the book ends his physical tribulations have not begun to end, but at least he is fully aware of where he stands in the world. I also enjoyed that some of the events in the book are based on true stories. Highly recommended for a short and emotional read (or listen, as the author is an excellent narrator). ( )
  norabelle414 | Jul 30, 2014 |
Felix hasn't seen his parents in the three years since they left him at a Catholic orphanage in Poland, but he expects them any day. Meanwhile, he writes stories about them in the yellow notebook they gave him. Felix has a gift for storytelling. Gradually Felix learns about what the Nazis are doing to Jews in Poland, but in his innocence he often draws false conclusions. One day Felix slips away from the orphanage to search for his parents with no idea what dangers he will expose himself to in the process.

The Holocaust is a bleak subject for children's literature. Gleitzman handles the topic with sensitivity. Felix's stories fortify the spirits of those around him, and they serve the same purpose for readers. There's always a ray of hope that Felix will survive his ordeal. I listened to the audio version narrated by the author. Sometimes authors aren't the best readers for their works, but Gleitzman is better than many professional readers I've heard. Felix's story is continued in several more books, and these are high on my wish list. ( )
2 vote cbl_tn | Apr 22, 2014 |
Reminds me of the movie a beautiful life. I enjoy the way the Author writes as a child, his innocence always trying to find an explanation for the actions of the adults he witnesses. ( )
  Breony | Mar 17, 2014 |
This is a good book for teaching young teens about Nazi Germany and the Jewish Holocaust. It is told in first person by a young boy whose parent's were Jewish booksellers. They leave him in an orphanage and say they will come back for him. When they don't and the Nazi's come to the orphanage and burn all the books, he sets out to warn his parents of the bad men who hate Jewish books. He soon realizes it not the books they hate, but the people. He sees death and destruction along the way and at first uses his imagination to keep a positive outlook. But as things get tougher it is hard for to appreciate his imagination. Once he realizes he can help others and take thir minds off of thier pain he knows he has a purpose. This book was different than the books I usually read, but I have always found WWII interesting. I would recommend this book to a younger teen or someone with a lower reading level who might want to learn more about what life was like for the Jews during WWII. ( )
  LoftyIslanders | Feb 27, 2014 |
I have read a number of YA books concerning the holocaust, but this is the first to make me laugh and cry simultaneously. Gleitzman really captured what a 10-year-old sheltered boy must have felt when first encountering Nazis and the horrors in Poland in 1942. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jan 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morris Gleitzmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gleitzman, MorrisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For all the children whose stories have never been told
The Slamovich Family
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Once I was living in an orphanage in the mountains and I shouldn't have been and I almost caused a riot.
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After living in an Catholic orphanage for nearly four years, a naive Jewish boy runs away and embarks on a journey across Nazi-occupied Poland to find his parents.

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Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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