Once by Morris Gleitzman

No. of pages: 150
Rating: 9/10
Series: Felix Trilogy (Book 1)

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Felix is a Jewish boy being hidden in a Catholic orphanage, his parents having hidden him there when they knew they were all in danger. Felix however is completely oblivious as to what is happening, he thinks Hitler is someone to look up to, and he doesn't really understand what the Nazi's are. That is until he escapes the orphanage to look for his parents and realises life isn't what it once was...

Even though this book was amazingly written, and so easy to read, the actual storyline was very harrowing, and really quite sad. Not only because of the effects of the war, but seeing how Felix slowly loses his innocence and realises life isn't what he thought it was and none of his stories can make this go away. Felix and Zelda are both really sweet characters, and I thought it was lovely how they cared for each other after everything that had happened. Once bears a close resemblence to The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, it has a similar feel and both are written from the identical perceptions of young boys during a war they don't really understand. I would definitely recommend it, although it's a short book, it certainly gives you a lot to think about, and it's well worth an hour or two of your time.
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