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Once by Morris Gleitzman

Once (2005)

by Morris Gleitzman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Once (1)

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6344515,284 (4.17)58
  1. 00
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» See also 58 mentions

English (44)  Spanish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Wonderful. This book had great character building and a lovely buildup of understanding for the main character; he starts with a juvenile, sheltered understanding of the political strife of his country that blossoms slowly into realization. I intend to read the others eventually. ( )
  benuathanasia | Mar 29, 2016 |
This is a heart breaking tale of a young, naive, boy Felix. His parents, Jewish booksellers, hide him away in a remote Catholic orphanage in the mountains of Poland and disappear. He waits eagerly for them to return for three years and 8 months- telling and writing fantastical stories of where they are and what they might be doing. He runs away after he saw Nazi's burning the books at the orphanage, on a mission to find his parent's old bookshop and warn them as well as save the books. He has no idea who the Nazi's are- or what their real objective is when he runs. Because of this, he is constantly making up his own explanations for what he sees happening around him. When he finally realizes the truth, it is too late. He is captured and sent to a Jewish ghetto. Here he is saved by a kind, older man, and hidden in an abandoned cellar with several other orphaned Jewish children. They are found and put on the train to the camps. With hope dwindling, he finds a way to make his escape- and takes it. ( )
  danielle.trotter | Feb 3, 2016 |
- 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 |
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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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Follows a young boy as he escapes from a convent orphanage in the mountains of Nazi occupied Poland in search of his parents.

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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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