Thursday, June 14, 2012

Once (Once Trilogy, #1)

Morris Gleitzman
163 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

It's been awhile since I've read a WWII/Holocaust novel and when I stumbled across this one at the library, the cover caught my eye.  I read the first few pages right there and decided that I needed to read the whole thing, so I brought it home with me.

Once is a very short novel about a young Jewish boy named Felix.  His parents had sent him to an orphanage for his safety but convinced that his parents are out there looking for him, he runs away.

There were several likable things about this novel.  In particular, I found it charming and friendly despite its heavy subject matter.  Felix is young and doesn't realize what's going with the Nazis the Jewish people.  He thinks his parents sent him away so they could salvage their book selling business, not so they could keep him safe from blood hungry Nazis.  Felix is a very good story-teller, often using stories as a way to get what he wants or to get something for a friend.  The stories Felix tells are charming and dispersed throughout the novel, they're a reminder of how innocent Felix is.

Felix goes on two journeys in Once - an actual journey while he tries to find his parents, and a second more intellectual journey as he slowly learns the truth about the world around him.  I found the whole thing very eye-opening.

Four stars!  Once was a quick read that left me wanting more.  I'll definitely be looking into the other two books in the trilogy.

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