Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe


Once: Morris Gleitzman, February 2—3, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

OnceFelix is an orphaned evacuee, living in the Polish mountains during WWII. He escapes the convent that shelters him, believing his book-selling parents are unaware that Nazis are burning Jewish books, and intends to warn them.

A truly heartbreaking coming-of-age tale, Felix’s innocence challenges the reader’s acceptance of the horror of the Holocaust. Piecing together all he witnesses, it takes Felix some time to arrive at the correct conclusions, because the genocide of Jewish people was so horrifically implausible.

Along the way, Felix’s naivete is endearing, and his upbeat spirit is a joy to follow. He meets the younger, orphaned, Zelda and selflessly protects her from the truth while helping her reach ‘the city’, where he hops to find his parents, and safety.

As the story unfolds, the reader is always a step ahead, and the upcoming devastation that awaits so many of the characters is almost too much. Alternately funny and tragic, Once really does tell a story of friendship, and of growing up.

From its innocent beginnings to its tragic end, no reader can get through Once without shedding a tear. And no book telling the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child should achieve anything less.


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This entry was posted on February 3, 2016 by in 4 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare