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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 8 March 2017
It feels a bit strange 'loving' a book about the Holocaust, but I suppose you have to put it in context. Most books on this subject are aimed at slightly older children, so this is the first example I've seen where the language is accessible to primary school children. My son is nine and he would definitely be able to access this from a reading point of view - I'm less sure that he would understand the back-story because he doesn't have the general knowledge of the Holocaust to allow him to understand what's 'really' happening when Felix comes across situations which we as adults understand very well. I have read the first three books in the series now, and I do want my son to experience them, as it's an important subject, particularly is this current climate of intolerance we're experiencing. I will be starting by reading the first couple of chapters of the first book to him, and I'll see if he's naturally picking up the 'real' story rather than seeing it through Felix's innocent eyes. I will update this review when I have seen how he manages it. 8th March 2017
The order to read these books is Once, Then, Now, After, Soon
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on 28 March 2017
My eleven year old boy read all, in two weeks. Couldn't put the down!
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ONCE upon a time there was a 10 year old Jewish boy called Felix whose parents were taken away by the Nazis. THEN, his close friend and ally, Zelda, was taken away from him also. NOW, Felix is 80, living in Australia, and trying to protect another Zelda, his grandaughter who is also our narrator.

NOW is the conclusion to Morris Gleitzman's wonderful trilogy for children which brings us from 1940s Poland to present day Australia. The author insists that all three books can be read as stand-alones and I suppose that, technically, that is true but if you want to reap the full benefit of these short but powerful novels, you need to read them in the right order, Once, Then and Now.

Even though NOW is firmly set in the present, there are constant reminders of Felix's past experiences. Zelda has some idea of his past but has been sheltered from the more brutal episodes. She loves her Grandfather dearly but seems to inevitably end up getting into scrapes despite her best intentions - including nearly causing a bushfire. Indeed, the dreadful trauma wrought by the Victorian bushfires of 2009 are vividly presented here. At 167 pages, this is a quick yet substantial read and alongside its fellow novels, would be an excellent way to introduce children to the Holocaust without frightening them off completely.

Although perhaps less poignant than its predecessors, it is a fitting conclusion as we return to the present and see how future generations have been affected yet are still able to move ahead in a positive manner. The memory of Zelda lives on. I will ensure that my own children will get the opportunity to read this trilogy and recommend it to all adults too, especially when we need reminded to count our blessings.
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on 4 September 2015
Zelda picked up a parcel from the Australian Post Office, it was her grandfather Felix's birthday, on the way home she is bullied by three large girls because she had said at school that her grandfather was a surgeon and her parents were doctors, a boy comes by and helps her, on arriving home her dog Jumbles runs to meet her and grandfather has a cake for her first week at school, she gives her present to Felix, a book he has always wanted, grandfather has weak legs from hiding from the Nazi's in a hole for two years during the war, Felix hears me shout out during the night and works out I am being bullied

Zelda's parents were in Africa helping sick children so she lived alone with her grandfather, while in town that day Zelda starts getting bullied by text, in town she spots the bullies and panics, Felix tells her tales of the war to calm her down, there is a Gala lunch to go to in Felix's honour, 200 guests will be there, these are all children grown up that owe their lives to Felix's skill as a surgeon

Felix is asleep and Zelda decides to do him a Birthday tea in the woods, she see's the boy that helped her before who says his name is Josh but he also says he is the brother of Tonya one of the bullies, he has a t-shirt to give her but Zelda thinks the bullies might be around and while Josh is trying to make her take the t-shirt they knock over candles starting a fire, there is a fire warning at that time because everything was so dry but Zelda gets the fire out

The next morning there is a bush fire and Zelda is convinced she started it, she runs into town to volunteer as a fire fighter but she is to young, Felix comes and gets her and tells her it is nothing to do with her, on the way home they here that the fire has changed direction and was headed for them and the town, they rush back to the house

First Zelda wants to find Jumble and she does hiding under a wheel barrow, Felix gets out the hose pipes and they try and keep the fire away from the house but the power goes off and there is no more water, Felix goes to try and start the generator, birds start falling from the shy and the windows to the house shatter with burning ash blowing inside, Zelda ran into the house and used everything she could find to put out fires, water from the toilet cistern and bottles of ginger beer but she was losing, a burning book case fell on her, Felix managed to pull her out, there was nowhere to go, they dug a hole in the ground covered them selves with anything they could find and tried to wait it out

Afterwards everything was gone, the house, the fences everything all they could do was sit and wait for help to come, suddenly a car appeared riding on metal rims, the tyres had burnt off, Tonya was at the wheel and her brother Josh was on the back seat unconcious, Tonya begged them to help her, her parents were out fighting the fire

For what follows you will have to read on, Tonya finds her parents fire engine burnt out, a large tree blocks the way to hospital, they have to carry Josh, the hospital has gone, there are burnt bodies everywhere, some has to operate on Josh or he will die

I have read the book before this so have an idea of the characters, I have to admit I was losing interest in the first few chapters but once the book got underway it was good, worth a read
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on 7 May 2010
I'm a big fan of Morris Gleitzman's highly underrated WWII series, and have been anticipating this title since I first read Once and Then over a year ago. Now is set in present day Australia and, though it's not the best of the trilogy, it's a brilliant end to Felix's heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story.

Gleitzman's series has been consistently shocking, funny and important, and has mostly focused on Felix as a young boy. In Now, Felix is an old man, with a successful life and a loving family, including 11-year-old granddaughter Zelda. Her namesake comes from Felix's best friend Zelda, who heavily features in Once and Then, and who assists him in his bid to survive the Holocaust. It's a name that carries a lot of history for Felix, and is a name that his granddaughter is desperate to live up to.

A natural disaster strikes Felix's home, forcing both grandfather and granddaughter into confronting their demons, their fears and some home truths. Their relationship grows even more, as Zelda tries to help Felix come to terms with what he lost in the 1940s. It's not quite as heart-wrenching as Then, though I did tear up a few times as Felix relived his nightmare of a past.

As with previous books in the series, I wanted more, and could have read three times the relatively short page count. I love Felix, both as an innocent child and as a wise old man. He's the epitome of the word good, and is a fictional testament to all those people who survived the horrific events of the Holocaust. I'll never forget his story, or the stories of the real survivors who lived on to tell their tales.
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on 5 October 2010
"Now" is the final part of the three book series and takes an interesting departure from the earlier books, "Once" and "Then". Rather than the Second World War, the storyline is focused on the twenty-first century.

A very well written account of a relationship between a 10 year old girl and her holocaust surviving grandfather. Felix, the main character of the earlier two books is now a retired doctor living in Australia. Zelda, is his granddaughter, who is named after Felix's friend, who featured in the previous two books.

There are a number of themes, such as being a new girl in the school, bullying and recognition of a lifetimes contribution to work, which are tackled well by the author.

A great conclusion to the trilogy which can be read in its own right, although reading the earlier two books gives the reader greater depth to the story.

An enjoyable but a times very scary read.
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on 27 January 2011
Now by Morris Gleitzman is a brilliant book. It really grabs the reader and is full of emotion. Following the previous 2 stories Once and Then it makes a great ending book of Felix's adventures. After finding out there was a third book i was determined to read it as soon as possible. I really enjoyed all 3 of these books and as soon as i started reading them i couldnt put them down.If you are reading these books i recommend reading Once first, Then second and Now third so you can understand the story. You dont have to read them in this order but if you want to comprehend the storys properly i would. I personally feel that Morris Gleitzman should bring out more books like these based on more of Felix's and Zelda's adventures.
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on 23 October 2016
The abrupt jump in time from the previous book is disorientating. Now we have mobile phones, before we were in World War 2. However, I can see quite vividly, in my mind’s eye, the places that the author describes.
It was exciting.

I had to look up ‘esky’ = an Australian brand of portable coolers and ‘ute’ = an abbreviation for "utility" or "coupé utility" – is a term used originally in Australia and New Zealand to describe usually two-wheel-drive, traditionally passenger vehicles with a cargo tray in the rear integrated with the passenger body; as opposed to a pickup whose cargo tray is not integrated with the passenger body.
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on 14 August 2010
This is the 3 rd in a series that my 12 year old daughter and I have both read. They are thought provoking books with a lovely child innocence to them. I highly recommend them.
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on 25 March 2013
I simply cant describe how much i loved this book, im am 11 years old and we read this in school. Soon after, i was the first to buy the next three! This book is not like any other, i could not stop reading, Felix and Zelda are insperational characters to young children. This is a must read, scary but also very funny. Once, you read Once, you must read Then, then Now, and then After!
I did a review for my assessment on this book, but it was soo good too explain!!!
Please read this novel, you will never find a book like it!!!
:)
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