"Like "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (rev. 9/06), this Holocaust parable plays its main character's naivete against readers' likely knowledge of the historical realities, but here the juxtaposition is believable and not at all precious; like "The Book Thief "(rev. 3/06), the novel extols the power of storytelling in the face of tragedy, but "Once" pits Felix's stories against even deeper ugliness. ... Gleitzman manages to find a grain of hope in the unresolved (and likely dire) conclusion, but this is the rare Holocaust book for young readers that doesn't alleviate its dark themes with a comforting ending."--"The Horn Book, "Starred Review"This gripping novel will make readers want to find out more"--"Booklist"
"Morris Gleitzman's children's stories are among the most widely read and loved." (AudioFile Magazine)
"Morris Gleitzman has discovered the difficult trick of changing reality so that poignancy and laughter are never far apart." (The Australian)
"Gleitzman's reading is flawless and as a result the three disc, three hour listening experience seems to last only minutes. Gleitzman's postscript places the story firmly among the actual events of Hitler's Holocaust adding another instance of where 'Morris Gleitzman has discovered the difficult trick of changing reality so the poignancy and laughter are never far apart.' The cover artwork is identical to that of the paperback edition and the listener is privileged by hearing the author read his own inner creative voice as no one else can. This short audiobook, complete and unabridged, is a must for every school library. Listeners will not baulk at the three discs and three-hour investment of their time. In return, they will be privy to a new genre of comic but no less insightful historical fiction." (Fiction Focus)
"Set during the Holocaust, this is the tale of Felix, a young Jewish child who runs away from a Catholic orphanage to try and find his parents. He meets other orphans who join his journey, and he is eventually forced onto a train heading for the concentration camps. Gleitzman spares no horror divulging details of Nazi brutality, and he conveys the truths in small bits through Felix’s present-tense viewpoint. Felix copes with the tragedy of his life through storytelling, making the audio most effective. Always seeking to see the bright side, Felix helps others escape through fantasy as well, weaving tales to make those around him feel better. Gleitzman's resonant voice, hushed tones, Australian accent, and impeccable pacing draw listeners to this compelling tale. A hauntingly hollow Jewish musical refrain separates chapters and enhances the mood." (Booklist)
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