Synopses & Reviews
Felix lives in a convent orphanage in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy. Felix manages to live and look after himself and another orphan, Zelda, with the help of a kind dentist, Barney, who is hiding and looking after a number of Jewish children. When the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children - electing to go with them on the train to the death camps, rather than taking the option of freedom offered by a Nazi soldier, one of his grateful patients.
Once I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad. Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house. Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh. My name is Felix. This is my story. Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least once. Gleitzman's reading is precise and lovely, often delivered in an understated whisper, emphasizing the intensity of the story and the author's skill as a consummate storyteller. Klezmer music punctuates the chapters. Once is very much a story about storytelling memory. Seldom does a story come along so powerful in its simplicity.? ? AudioFile magazine