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Why read it?
- Morris Gleitzman is a celebrated author for children and adolescents, who writes about very serious and important topics in an understandable and simple way.
- The style of English is really understandable.
- It only has 150 pages, which means it is quick to read and very motivating.
Once is the first in a series of five books. It is a beautifully written book set during the Holocaust, following a Jewish boy named Felix, who lives in Poland and runs away from a Catholic orphanage to try to find his parents. During the story he meets other orphans who join him on his journey. One of them is a girl called Zelda who he finds in a house with her dead parents. He takes her with him, protects her and tries to comfort her through telling her stories. He is eventually forced on a train on its way to the concentration camps. Although Once is a fiction novel, Gleitzman was inspired by the story of Janusz Korczak and the events of World War II.