Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Wow, Morris Gleitzman manages to make a tragic story both amusing and heartbreaking at the same time.

Along the same lines as The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, Once is told from the point of view of Felix a young boy who has been hidden in a Catholic orphanage for 3 years and 8 months. Felix decides he must try and find his parents who own a bookstore and tell them that the Nazis are burning Jewish books.

Until Felix leaves the orphanage, he has no idea how dangerous the Nazis really are. He ends up on a road being herded to the city with hundreds of other Jewish people and finally realizes the truth. "Maybe it's not just our books the Nazis hate. Maybe it's us."

Based on a true story of a Polish doctor who ran an orphanage for Jewish children and chose to die with them in the camps rather than abandon them, this is truly an inspiring book. I read it in a day and would highly recommend Once to anyone from seventh grade through adulthood. 

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