“Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1 By Morris Gleitzman

once“Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1
By Morris Gleitzman
Narrated by: Morris Gleitzman
Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
Release date: 02-02-06
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Every once in a while we need to view the world from a child’s eyes.   That is exactly what Morris Gleitzman has done with “Once.”  The sad part is that it is a view of one of the most horrific events in the history of our world, the Holocaust.  But the view of the Holocaust through the eyes of actually give you a feeling of hope.

Felix was take to an orphanage by his parents with the promise that they will be back to pick him up.  When they do return he will know because they will give him a carrot.  One meal Felix looks down in his soup bowl and sees a carrot.  This is highly unusual in that the only chunks found in the orphanages broth are chunks of ceiling plaster.  Felix knows his parents have come for him.

After searching the grounds he sees no parents, instead he finds Nazis burning Jewish books and yelling at the nuns in the convent.  Jewish books are in danger and Felix’s parents own a bookstore which sells Jewish Books.  Now he must warn them.  Felix sneaks away from the orphanage to find his parents.

The adventures from there are very dark and sinister, as the Holocaust was, but through the mind of young Felix he just thinks the Nazis hate books.  The atrocities committed by the Nazis through Felix’s eyes are told by the author in such a way that one can appreciate the and love the naivete of young Felix, and keep rooting for him along the way.

Soon Felix finds Zelda who doesn’t know her parents are dead.  He knows he must protect her and he brings her along on her journey.  The find a man who is struggling to keep a group of Jewish children alive and safe while the Nazis destroy poland.

From the orphanage to making a Nazi with a toothache laugh to being rounded up and placed on a boxcar Felix is always doing his best to keep people happy.

This story will soon be one of your favorites.

Publisher’s Summary
Felix lives in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as all of Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy. Felix manages to live and look after himself and another orphan, Zelda, with the help of a kind dentist, Barney, who is hiding and looking after a number of Jewish children. When the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children, electing to go with them on the train to the death camps, rather than taking the option of freedom offered by a Nazi soldier, one of his grateful patients.
©2005 Morris Gleitzman (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.