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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.
AudioFile Magazine Review:
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2006 Audie Award Finalist
ONCE is the story of children in the Holocaust, poignant and powerful without being frightening or graphic. With his gentle and utterly alive manner, Gleitzman reads the tale of Felix, a Jewish boy who runs away from the convent where his parents had him hidden and roams the countryside with an orphaned girl until they find their way to the cellar of a print shop in the Warsaw ghetto, where an old dentist has been protecting lost children. 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.
Paired in SYNC With:
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
By Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read by Dion Graham
Published by ChristianAudio