Kate's Reviews > Once

Once by Morris Gleitzman
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Mar 15, 2010

it was amazing
Read in March, 2010

One of my 7th grade students absolutely devours historical fiction set during the Holocaust, and she was waiting for this one, standing at my desk, tapping her foot as I turned the last page today.

The main character, Felix, begins the story as a unique (and heartbreaking) unreliable narrator. He's a Jewish boy, hidden in a Catholic orphanage, and utterly unaware of the danger he's facing. When he sets out to find his parents, he sees evidence of the Nazis destruction but misinterprets much of it, placing himself squarely in harm's way. Ultimately, though, he's faced with too much reality to go on believing the stories he's told himself, and from there, the book chronicles his loss of innocence and his coming of age in the worst of times. It's beautifully written and though tough to read at times, certainly not without hope. I highly recommend it.

When I turned the last page today,I handed it over to my student. "You are going to LOVE this book."

And she won't be alone. I really see this novel joining the ranks of our best historical fiction set during this time period. It's a great book.
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