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43 Reviews
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book you have to read
I asked my teacher if I could read Once.I'm only just 11.She said I could but it was quite sad and grownup.Its not rude but it could make people cry. I would say anyone over 8 years old could read it.The writing is farly big but dont be embarrassed to read it as I dont know ANYONE who does't like it. I think this is better than Michael Morpurgo's best books, better than...
Published on 14 Dec 2010

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Extremely moving!
This book is one of most emotionally moving books I have ever read. It's about a Jewish boy desperate to find his parents in the middle of World War 2 . I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to everyone who enjoys this type of genre.
A very powerful book and a good read.
Published 14 months ago by whingecus


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book you have to read, 14 Dec 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
I asked my teacher if I could read Once.I'm only just 11.She said I could but it was quite sad and grownup.Its not rude but it could make people cry. I would say anyone over 8 years old could read it.The writing is farly big but dont be embarrassed to read it as I dont know ANYONE who does't like it. I think this is better than Michael Morpurgo's best books, better than all the Harry Potters but that is my opinion. Please read it as its not that famous but when you pick it up you will feel like your there in 1942. You may get a bit confused at the beginning but either carry on reading or read the paragraph again,whatever you do don't put it down or pretend to put it somewhere then loose it. You should try getting it from the library. It probably won't take that long to read it as I read it in 4 days. I'm not a bookworm but I really got stuck into this book. There are three of them in the series Once,Then and now.I'm about to start Then but everyone says Once is the best and you have to read it to read the next one.
PLEASE READ IT YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER CHRISTMAS PRESENT THEN THE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE READ.PLEASE READ. PLEASE READ. PLEASE READ THE AMAZING, WONDERFUL INSPERING BOOK NOW.
Sophia age 11
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic children's book that adults should read!!, 11 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
My 10 year old read this book in two days and loved it. It's written in very simple language from the viewpoint of a young Jewish boy in Poland in 1942 who is trying to find his parents. The plot is simple but riveting and unusually is written in the present tense. For my son, the story was paramount and although the subject matter is harrowing for an adult, children seem to be able to detach themselves. When I read the book, I couldn't put it down!! It brilliantly captures the thinking of small boy in a frightening, violent world, and charts his journey from endearing naivety to crushing realisation of the truth. The book also highlights the humanity and resilience of the time without ever sentimentalising. The ending is very cleverly done, its ambiguity allowing the reader to complete their own story. For me, this was one of those books that leaves you thoughtful for days and has a profound effect, you feel that the subject matter will never be the same again! An exciting, thought-provoking read for children, a harrowing, but uplifting read for adults and a great book to discuss with your children after you've both read it.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and uplifting introduction to the holocaust, 10 Feb 2006
By 
Philippa (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
'Once' is one of the most moving, emotional and entertaining books I've read in a long time.
It's about a 9-year-old Jewish boy who's in a Catholic orphanage, believing that his parents are off sorting out their bookselling business and will be back for him any minute. All the evidence points to his parents being dead, but the boy thinks up more and more elaborate (and humorous) explanations for his circumstances, and stays cheerful, because he 'knows' his parents are coming back for him soon.
He runs away to find them and finds Nazis clearing the people out of his town and killing people. Even while the boy is trying to make sense of the horrific things he sees, the story remains uplifting, and there is humour in the most dire of circumstances.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Friendship, Family and War., 3 Feb 2009
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
Once is very similar to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, both in style and theme. It's very easy to read, is told from the perspective of a young child, and is set during the events of the Holocaust.

Felix is almost ten years old, and is living in an orphanage in Poland that his parents sent him to in 1939. Three years and eight months later, he receives a whole carrot in his soup, which he thinks is a sign from his Mum and Dad, and that they are finally coming back for him. This inspires him to escape from the orphanage, and journey across Poland in the hope of finding his parents.

Along the way, he encounters Nazis (whom he thinks dislike Jews because of their love of books), an orphaned young girl, Zelda, and a dentist hiding a group of young Jewish children.

Felix's innocence and naivete is a big part of this story, as he often mistakes truly horrific events for mistakes or accidents. A child's viewpoint is perhaps the most shocking way to depict the Holocaust, as children see so much more than adults, and see things in a different way.

This story is funny in parts, especially with Felix and his childlike thoughts of carrots and nuns. It quickly becomes shocking and more difficult to read, and this is due to Felix experiencing the unspeakable horrors of war, and what was really going on in Poland in 1942.

For anyone who likes war fiction, as I do, then this, along with its sequel Then, is a must read. Morris Gleitzman has succeeded in writing a story of friendship and desperation, and has managed to recreate the harrowing journey of a Jewish boy with his heart set on reuniting his family.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and believable, 12 July 2006
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
This was another special book by Morris Gleitzman. I always find that you can read his books quickly and they are easy to read, but they always have depth and a proper story and they always leave you thinking for ages afterwards.

This is a book about a boy called Felix who runs away from the orphanage that he is at during WW2. It is his tale of survival with the people that he meets along the way. The ending is sad. Possiby one of the saddest I have ever read. I was desperate to read it so I finished it during an English lesson at school and I was trying not to cry during the lesson!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once; A Teacher's Dream Text, 25 Feb 2013
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
Here is a book review written by a few pupils in my class. It is all their own work and expresses their own opinions about a book that I read aloud to the class as a serial while studying World War II. As a teacher I feel that the book has added depth to the children's knowledge and I will definitely choose to use it again with a different class.

Once is a great novel. It's a gripping tale based on real life events and fact. The book is very emotional and not for the faint hearted. I highly recommend this book for any child age ten and above. The story is well written and gives you hope in the darkest of times.

Once is about a ten year old boy called Felix who has been living in an orphanage for almost four years. He spends most of his time thinking about his Jewish book-selling parents. Then in his hot, lumpy soup one day he finds a whole carrot - this carrot means a lot to him because he believes it's a sign from his parents. So he finds the need to go and look for them.

Felix is a nave, hopeful boy. Throughout the course of the story he becomes more realistic. There's four books in the
Series - Once, Then, After, Now. As `Once' is a great book, I think all the other books will be amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenon, 28 May 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
Once absolutely blew me away with its emotion, optimism and, ironically, its humour. Although it is such a sad book i would recommend it to kids from the ages of ten to fourteen and adults of all ages. I loved it so much and if you read it I also strongly recommend the sequel Then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 10 Jan 2014
By 
K. J. Stone - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
This series is well written, but in line with many of the books my children are required to read for English I have serious concerns about the level of violence. I certainly think parents should be informed when younger children are reading it for school that parents should be forwarned to read it first and be prepared to deal with any issues arising. As a story of the Holocaust it is going to contain knowledge of man's inhumanity to man, but that isn't something children should be dealing with without the support of their parents. Or am I just an Idealist?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once, Morris Gleitzman, 6 Jun 2010
By 
P. A. Cunningham "Penny" (N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
This is a lovely little book written for children so is quite short, but oh so poignant and heartbreaking. It has a similar feel to "Boy In the Striped Pyjamas"
The story is about a little Jewish boy called Felix looking for his Mum and Dad after the start of WWII, they have left him in an orphanage in Poland as they could see what was about to happen. He runs away to find them as he does not understand what is happening around him. His adventures are traumatic and tragic.
Its hard to imagine how these children, thousands of them, had to endure these things alone with no idea whether or not they would ever see their parents again!
Its strange that a lot of these little books written for children are so sad and tragic but uplifting at the same time!
I would recommend this book to childrens and their parents alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended., 12 July 2014
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This review is from: Once (Once/Now/Then/After) (Paperback)
This is a wonderful story for children aged 9-12 - depending on maturity/reading ability. I have used it with my year 7 pupils, all of whom are boys and most have English as a second or third language. They have really enjoyed reading it and about a third of the class have, of their own volition, gone on to read the stores that follow: 'Then,' 'Now' and 'After.' Colleagues and some older students have found the narrator Felix 'irritatingly naive' but the Yr 7 students don't seem to mind. When I asked one of the more able Yr 7 readers about this he commented "Felix is like your little brother; you know he's getting it wrong but you're sort of glad he does because the reality is so bad and you don't want him to be scared. " Recommended.
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Once (Once/Now/Then/After)
Once (Once/Now/Then/After) by Morris Gleitzman (Paperback - 23 Feb 2006)
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