'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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