19 thoughts on “Once

  1. I really enjoyed reading this book, and these are a few words of how I describe it:
    Heart warming, sad, depressing, dramatic and tearful.
    It talks about a young boy who leaves a safe orphanage to go search for his parents. Slowly, during his journey he realizes who the Nazis are and what they do to Jews. Many things happen, including him meeting and saving a girl called Zelda. But You’ll have to read it to know what happens.

  2. Once is a book that makes you nostalgic for the days when you were oblivious to the horrors of the world. Felix’s unwavering trust and his endearing naivety really makes your heart melt. Once is a fast paced book that starts the moment you open the book. The ending is abrupt ad leaves you feeling a bit bewildered, continually questioning why it ended the way it did. Everyone deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once. So go and read Once.

  3. Once is a well-written book with something for everyone.
    It has a unique start to each chapter, all of them starting with ‘Once’. It starts off with Felix being naive, but the reader learns with him about the horrible things that the Nazis did in WW2. This book keeps you gripped, and is a must-read!

  4. An extremely sad and interesting book! Very emotional, couldn’t stop reading it.
    It is a realistic book about a boy called Felix,leaving a safe boarding house, to looking for his parents, not knowing they are captured in a concentration camp. Will he find find them? Will he survive the hard journey that awaits him?
    It is very sad and depressing (like most books about Jews in the war), but even if you do not usually like these kind of books, you’ll still like this one.
    It is a must read!!!!

  5. Once is a unique book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It is amazing to see what different ways authors can choose to write their stories – in this it was starting every chapter with Once – which really emphasizes Felix’s love of writing stories. It gives an inside look at what at first the war would seem like to a child of that age. For instance, Felix believes that the Nazis are after the Jewish books, and not the people, and also that Adolf Hitler is good. As the story continues, he discovers the truth and is reluctant to tell Zelda, as he wants to protect her from the truth. In a way, he is almost like a brother to Zelda, as he saves her many times, and she encourages when he is sad. It is an amazing book and shows WW2 from a whole different perspective. A great book which really brings you into the reality of the Holocaust.

  6. Once is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. It is creative, interesting, and full of tragic twists that bring tears to your eyes. I love how Felix and Zelda build such a strong relationship and are so full of hope and luck. It changed me as a reader as I saw the hardships other people suffer and I’m living a life of luxury and happiness. if you have not read this book yet I would strongly recommend it as it is the most heart warming book OF ALL TIME!!!!!

  7. Once, is the kind of book that sucks me and doesn’t let go. It is a engaging, motivating and interesting book. You would think at first that this was a typical WW2 book, but the story goes on to tell of what really happens.
    There were many points in the book where the climax was reached and you would think that you knew what was going to happen. However the book keeps twisting your thoughts keeping you willing to read on whilst the edge of your seat at all times.
    It is a very sad story, but truthful and the idea of the main character telling stories inside the actual story thoroughly amused me in many places.
    Overall i see this book as a true insight into the truth of WW2 and one person can really make a difference.

  8. • I like this book because you think it’s for children then you read on and it becomes a book for young adults. The book was a real page turner I also like how it is based on a true story it makes it more interesting to read. I like its inspirational, poignant and memorable it’s also so readable but prepare of shock and tears.
    ‘that’s the good thing with stories. Theres always a chance they can come true’. I really like this quote from the book because it is very true because anything you read and think about it, it can come true.

  9. I thought that this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read; I’ve read some of Morris Gleitzman’s more popular books in the past such as Worry Warts and Puppy Fat. This book isn’t like the other Morris Gleitzman books I know, but I do think that it is a fantastic book for children to read and learn about the 2nd World War and a different insight into life as a Jew in Nazi Germany.

  10. Extract from a review by Isaac in Year 7

    I think this book is a great piece of writing that sucks the reader in because of its tense and interesting moments. I also enjoyed the book because of the style of the text; every chapter begins with the word “Once”, which gives the book a rhythm and a steady pace. Also, I liked that this word would lead to a flashback each time, because it would explain some information that wasn’t explained earlier.
    I absolutely loved the tense and dramatic moments in the story that would end each chapter on a cliff hanger, forcing you to read the next chapter. I especially loved it when Felix was on his own in the apartment, trying to find some aspirin and a carrot for Zelda, when a Nazi officer comes in and Felix has to hide under some books. Also at the end, it was very tense as the reader would really want to know if the characters would survive or not, and it forced me to read on.
    Lastly, I liked the fact that there was some truth in the book, as the reader could learn something from it about the dreadful events which occurred in Germany, Poland and other Nazi occupied countries in Europe during WW2.

  11. Once is a story that touched my heart. It is a tale of trust, friendship, war and the naïve minds of young children. There is a strong connection between Zelda and Felix, and although Zelda treats Felix like a younger brother, she also has a lot of respect for him. She looks up to him, and knows he will look after her and protect her whatever the circumstances.
    The character of Barney introduces himself to us in the middle of the story; a kind, loving man who looks after young orphans. His role in the story is to keep the children safe, be their teacher and their father. He also doesn’t want any of them to get killed, so he makes sure their naïve minds don’t wander too far; we know how simple Felix’s mind is!
    This story is also about the Second World War, and we learn about the torture the Jews had to endure, and also the hatred the Nazis had for them.
    It will be very interesting to find out what happens in the next book about Felix’s story, as the enticing cliff-hanger had me itching for more.
    This is definitely a competitor against Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Friend or Foe’.

  12. This is a book that the author has used his imagination to make up. The book is very realistic and can break your heart. It is set in the Holocaust.

  13. Reading this book gave me a different, and clearer view of the Holocaust that no other books that I have read were able to match. The main character, Felix, had to make many decisions that changed the way he was to live his life. Morris Gleitzman showed all the emotions that Felix was feeling, and always twisted my view of what was going to come next. Consequently I couldn’t put it down!
    I would recommend this to anyone who likes good books or is interested in the Holocaust.:)

  14. A great story with a very realistic plot. I loved the characters and I was with them the whole journey. I was hoping the whole way they would reach a safe place. What an amazing book which I recommend.

  15. Once, there was a boy named Felix who went on all sorts of adventures.
    Morris Gleitzman writes ‘Once’ in historical fiction, first person. It is set in the horrific 2nd World War and Felix (the main character) has been separated from his family and placed in an orphanage. He is in the orphanage for nearly 3 years before 1 day; an entire carrot appears in his soup. His parent’s loved carrots and books so he saw this as a sign from them. Felix runs away from the orphanage to find his parents but discovers the book-burning Nazis. Felix (a great lover of books) sees this as a terrible crime. As the drama unfolds, the truth of the Nazis’ awful plans begins to dawn on him.

    My Opinion
    I enjoyed ‘Once’ all the way through and could hardly put it down. My favourite aspects of the book were how Glietzman gave each character a bold personality, Felix the book-loving Jew, Zelda a girl who would always say ‘don’t you know anything?’ and Barney the dentist who always had a plan. ‘Once’ is packed with emotions, sadness, suspense, mystery and happiness which creates a rainbow of emotions.
    Harvey Brighton College

  16. When I read ‘Once’ it showed me the sheer brutality of the Nazis. Felix (the main character has to make many decisions and it was so fast paced, after I finished it I thought “that’s it?” The ending was a good lead up to the next book and left me wanting more.

  17. ‘Once’ is daring story that shows more than one opinion of treaty of the Jews in the second world war. As shown on the front it proves a message to you which is ‘Everyone deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once’
    Felix is the main character in this book, this book is based on him looking for his parents as he comes up with challenges through out his journey. However he does not know that war is raging around him. Can he find out what happened to his parents before its too late?
    Brighton College

  18. I really enjoyed this book, although I did not expect too as it is not something I would have chosen to read. I thought that the plot was realistic and I was with the characters ever step of their journey, willing them to reach a place of safety. I am now half way through the sequal “After”.

  19. Once was a really moving and affectionate book. I really enjoyed the wholeness of the book by that I mean that the book captured you from the word “GO.” However the book is not all pleasent. There is death so if you do not cope with that well this is not the book for you. I really hope you try reading this book and have a go.
    By Omeet Atara

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