After my review last week of one of my childhood favourites Falling Fast I was getting all nostalgic and I thought about one of my proudest moments as an avid writer – when I came runner up in the UK wide book competition held by Scholastic. I hunted through all my old stuff and found the review that won me this massive (massive to only me) achievement! So I I thought it would be interesting for me to recite it to you now. I remember loving this series because it was the first book I ever felt connected to the characters or cared for any of them.
Title: Then (Once #2)
Author: Morris Gleitzman
Genre: WW2 Historical Fiction, childrens
Publish Date: June 2008
Summary: In Then – Morris Gleitzman’s heartbreaking children’s novel set during the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War – Jewish orphan Felix and his best friend Zelda have been captured and are on the way to a concentration camp, unless they manage to escape . . .
A little hope goes a long way.
I had a plan for me and Zelda. Pretend to be someone else. Find new parents, be safe forever.
Then the Nazis came.
My name is Felix. This is my story.
But enough from present day me, over to you 11 year old Me.
“Then” is a truly tragic but moving story. It tells the story of a 10 year old Jewish boy named Felix who has landed the responsibility of caring for a 6 year old German girl named Zelda.
They find themselves running away from a Nazi train that is trying to take them to a concentration camp. As they run deeper into a hillside forest a farmers wife named Genia finds them and takes them under her wing, while her husband is at war. Unknowingly this is a choice that will cost her dearly. My favourite part was when Dov, the son of the family that ran the village orphanage, shot a Nazi in the back by the river in revenge for the Nazis killing his parents and all his friends.
Felix is determined to make Zelda happy about her parents and the Nazi’s in case it gets worse and he is also extremely worried about Cyril and his gang exposing him as a Jew. Zelda really hates everything associated with her parents and the Nazi’s but through her friendship with Felix she realises the danger she has put them in.
Genia is filled with hope and bravely in that she has the courage to help Zelda and Felix even if it costs her her life and she has hope that her husband will return home from the war even though her heart is filled with worry that he won’t.
Overall, I loved the book and have already started reading Now, the next book in the Trilogy. This is my favourite out of the three books because I love the hope and courage of Felix and the belief the writer has filled this breathtaking story with.
Six years later and I’ve not changed a bit lol!
If you liked this kind of post and you want to see more of my past writing escapades give this a like because there is plenty more where this came from.
Thanks and Happy Reading,