Once & Then
Morris Gleitzman, a well-known English writer with more than 20 amazing books to his name. Once & Then, the book being reviewed, is packaged as an ‘adult edition’ brings together two famous World War 2 novels based on holocausts: ‘Once’, published in 2005 and ‘then’, published in 2008.
Felix is an optimistic 10 years-old boy living in a Catholic Orphanage since he was a little baby. Felix changes from innocently naïve, not realizing the true horrors of the Holocaust; to more mature, constantly being cautious and on the lookout for Zelda, his new family. Zelda, a ‘lively’ little 6 years-old girl whose family was killed by the Jewish Resistance due to her father being a Nazi. Felix’s newfound family, Zelda changes from being childish to more caring and being worried about things above her age. As shown when she was worried about whether they’ll have enough food for the whole family when Genia’s husband come home. Genia is a female farmer who rescued Felix and Zelda. She shelters them and protected them from the Nazis. Although at first she seems harsh, Genia is actually a very soft and kind person. Seeing how she immediately took them in, gave them new identities to live like normal children. The setting of this place was taken in Poland, during World War 2, the period of the Holocaust. This country was actually very fitting for the story. This place showed one of the country invaded by Germany during their quest for power, how even outside of Germany feared the Nazis. To me, there were many themes to this book. Felix’s courage and determination to protect Zelda and Genia, how much they cared for each other, how the power-hungry Nazis eventually was defeated, how strong Felix and Zelda hope was for the war to end. I have actually learned a lot from this book. I think one of problem in this...
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