4.2 (13,107 ratings by Goodreads)
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Once by Morris Gleitzman is the story of a young Jewish boy who is determined to escape the orphanage he lives in to save his Jewish parents from the Nazis in the occupied Poland of the Second World War. Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once.Once I escaped from am 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.Once is the first in a series of children's novels about Felix, a Jewish orphan caught in the middle of the Holocaust, from Australian author Morris Gleitzman - author of Bumface and Boy Overboard. The next books in the series Then, Now and After are also available from Puffin.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 14mm | 300g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 014132063X
  • 9780141320632
  • 471

Review quote

"Like "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (rev. 9/06), this Holocaust parable plays its main character's naivete against readers' likely knowledge of the historical realities, but here the juxtaposition is believable and not at all precious; like "The Book Thief "(rev. 3/06), the novel extols the power of storytelling in the face of tragedy, but "Once" pits Felix's stories against even deeper ugliness. ... Gleitzman manages to find a grain of hope in the unresolved (and likely dire) conclusion, but this is the rare Holocaust book for young readers that doesn't alleviate its dark themes with a comforting ending."--"The Horn Book, "Starred Review"This gripping novel will make readers want to find out more"--"Booklist"
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About Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman was born in Lincolnshire and moved to Australia in his teens. He worked as a paperboy, a shelf-stacker, a frozen chicken de-froster, an assistant to a fashion designer and more before taking a degree in Professional Writing at Canberra College and becoming a writer. He has written for TV, stage, newspapers and magazines but is best-known for his hugely succesful children's books including Two Weeks with the Queen, Bumface, Boy Overboard and Girl Underground.
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Rating details

13,107 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 43% (5,690)
4 38% (5,006)
3 15% (1,925)
2 3% (348)
1 1% (138)

Our customer reviews

Captivating is just one of the many words to describe this story. I discovered myself hidden away from the world, while reading the tale of young children during WWII. Some what like the characters, I felt as if I was there watching as the pain slowly killed them. Only 9 years old when I escaped an orphanage on a mission to find my parents, Felix has to find a way of surviving from the Nazi's... Though how? Morris Gleitzman uses words for the readers to imagine. Doing that very well. From readers that understand happiness and that sometimes that it can take a turn, I am sure they will want to read the books over for that extra experience that we felt. I had a plan for me and Zelda. Pretend to be someone else. Find new parents. Be safe forever. Then the Nazis came.show more
by shmeegle
This is a lovely little book written for children so is quite short, but oh so poignant and heartbreaking. It has a similar feel to "Boy In the Striped Pyjamas" The story is about a little Jewish boy called Felix looking for his Mum and Dad after the start of WWII, they have left him in an orphanage in Poland as they could see what was about to happen. He runs away to find them as he does not understand what is happening around him. His adventures are traumatic and tragic. Its hard to imagine how these children, thousands of them, had to endure these things alone with no idea whether or not they would ever see their parents again! Its strange that a lot of these little books written for children are so sad and tragic but uplifting at the same time! I would recommend this book to childrens and their parents alike.show more
by Penny Cunningham
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