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Once | [Morris Gleitzman]

Once

Felix lives in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as all of Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy.
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Publisher's Summary

Felix lives in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as all of Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy. Felix manages to live and look after himself and another orphan, Zelda, with the help of a kind dentist, Barney, who is hiding and looking after a number of Jewish children. When the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children, electing to go with them on the train to the death camps, rather than taking the option of freedom offered by a Nazi soldier, one of his grateful patients.

©2005 Morris Gleitzman; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Children's Titles, Ages 8+

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (81 )
5 star
 (37)
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 (30)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Overall
4.4 (25 )
5 star
 (16)
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (25 )
5 star
 (16)
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Denis pasadena, CA, United States 03-04-06
    Denis pasadena, CA, United States 03-04-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    "once ..loved by all"

    i bought this book for my 11 yr old boy
    who loved it but the person who really adored it
    was my 8 yr old niece who listened it to over and over again.
    this story really captured her imagination.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 09-26-07
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 09-26-07 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    172
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    279
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
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    Overall
    "Heart Breaking"

    Told from a child's point of view, Once is touching and heartbreaking. As a Jewish boy hidden in a Catholic Orphanage, our hero decides to go in search of his parents, in the middle of the Nazi effort to rid the world of his people. Caught up in the tragedy this child relates the atrocities in such an innocent voice that it has stuck with me every since. At once being part of something he cannot comprehend, and trying to sustain the hope his parents are alive, I found myself hoping beyond hope that history could change. Alas, it does not.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Melbourne, FL, United States 12-29-14
    Laura Melbourne, FL, United States 12-29-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such a sad story"
    What did you love best about Once?

    That the boy tried to write stories about his experiences.


    What other book might you compare Once to and why?

    The boy in the striped pajamas


    What does Morris Gleitzman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was more sad I think listening to it. If I'd been reading it I'd not have finished it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cry cry. Laugh a little then cry some more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Mount Annan, Australia 05-27-14
    Sarah Mount Annan, Australia 05-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
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    0
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    Story
    "Kids Favourite"

    My kids loved this story and series in fact. At first I thought it a bit naive and young for them but I liked the way it gently introduced what would have been the experiences of a child during this time of history. They couldn't get enough of it and were talking about it for ages. Great read great story, loved hearing the author read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Auckland, New Zealand 09-02-12
    Samantha Auckland, New Zealand 09-02-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love this book"

    Really like hearing this story being read by the author. Morris Gleitzman is a great reader and writer. An amazing story of optimism and friendship. Highly recommended to people of all ages, especially kids. If you love this book, definitely go on and listen to 'Then', 'Now' and 'After'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Myrtle Beach, SC, United States 12-11-10
    Shawn Myrtle Beach, SC, United States 12-11-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    5
    Overall
    "I enjoyed this book... My kids loved it"

    This is a good story in a kids perspective on a topic we all know. Both of my daughters enjoyed it so much that they put it on their ipods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Austin, TX, United States 12-21-09
    Susan Austin, TX, United States 12-21-09 Member Since 2015

    AmazonBookLover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    251
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    342
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    56
    12
    Overall
    "Excellent for Children and Adults"

    I listened to this with an 8 yr old. We both thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a story of a child who lives during the Nazi occupation of Poland and is told in his voice and from his standpoint. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Port MoresbyPapua New Guinea 06-20-08
    Christine Port MoresbyPapua New Guinea 06-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    5
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Brillant, raw, insightful and so much more"

    So heartbreaking and moving. Loved all the characters. Will get all the kids to listen to it.
    Barney & Fliex are such heroes and the little girls that jumped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Balch Springs, TX, United States 11-27-09
    Susan Balch Springs, TX, United States 11-27-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    72
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    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    "not a childs book"

    world war 2 thru the eyes of a inocent child it was shocking and heart rending and an unusual telling of a horrible time excelent

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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