Then

by Morris Gleitzman

In a continuation of the story the author began with Once (U.S. edition: Henry... read more

In a continuation of the story the author began with Once (U.S. edition: Henry Holt, 2010), Felix, a ten-year-old Jewish boy, and six-year-old Zelda, the orphaned daughter of Nazis killed by the Polish resistance, have just escaped a train bound for the death camps. Having seen the atrocities committed by the Nazis, Zelda is so ashamed of her parents that she feels contempt for them, and recognizes Felix as her only true family now. The two are taken in by a Polish farm woman who passes them off as relatives, but they all live in constant fear that Felix’s true identity will be revealed. As the narrator, Felix’s voice, is both old and innocent. He and Zelda are children, but children who have seen and experienced too many horrible things. The author does not shy away from revealing the horrors experienced by both children and adults during the Holocaust, but along with this is the characters’ strong will to survive. This gripping short novel is hard to put down, and hard to forget. (Ages 11–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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