Once by Morris Gleitzman (group set, 7 books)

£39 Save £9.93

Once by Morris Gleitzman is the story of a young Jewish boy who is determined to escape the orphanage he lives in to save his Jewish parents from the Nazis in the occupied Poland of the Second World War. Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once.

  • Emotional story about the holocaust from a child's point of view.
  • Recommended for mature and robust readers.
  • Themes:tolerance, racism, human rights, courage, friendship, sacrifice, survival. Due sensitivity towards the subject needed.
  • 160 pages
  • Requires sustained reading between sessions. Best read as a class novel with key extracts selected for guided reading.


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Morris Gleitzman interviewed by Nikki Gamble

Morris Gleitzman is one of Australia's, and now the world's, best-known and loved children's authors, He tackles tough subjects in a funny and offbeat way. He has never set out to write "issues books" and says that his writing is as much for himself as for his readers. This is especially true of his new novel 'Once', which is set in the Warsaw Ghetto in the 1940s.

'Once' marks a departure for you. The characteristic Gleitzman humour is still there but the subject matter demands a more muted approach. When you were writing this book, did it feel as though you were charting new waters?

Looking back now, I can see that I think I needed to write a few more specific books first. 'Boy Overboard' and 'Girl Underground' were important steps towards 'Once'. These books were a departure in a sense, because they were largely contemporary stories set in another place. I had some reservations about writing about two young characters who were from different cultural backgrounds. But I also had a very strong urge to write those stories because of what was happening in the world, in particular the refugee situation in Australia. So, although I had some misgivings, I took the plunge. I trusted that, with a lot of research and some essential help, I could make the right sort of contact with the inner world of young people. So, having written those books I had a little more confidence to tackle this even more difficult proposition.

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