Felix and Zelda #1: Once

“Once I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad. Once I rescued a girl called Zelda from a burning house. Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh.”

Once there was a boy called Felix, who only believed in good things. Even when his parents were taken by the Nazis. Even when he hid for three years in a Polish orphanage high in the mountains. Even when he saw good people die. Then Felix set out to find his parents, and his world changed forever. Because however hopeless things are, we all have to follow our dreams. Even just once…

  • First in Morris Gleitzman’s hugely acclaimed series
  • A moving and superbly original tale of the Holocaust
  • Describes the war’s events from a child’s-eye view
  • Explores the fate of Jewish families during the war

“A heartbreaking little book.” The Bookbag

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Recent reviews

  • loved it

    Very touching book and would definitely recommend!

    24 March 2018

  • This book was sad and well written. Some of it is a true story.

    8 March 2014

  • loved it

    Loved Felix’s free spirit and imagination. Brilliant book.

    10 November 2012

  • This is a really good book. It is one of those books, that you just can’t put down. Although it can be really sad because it is about Hitler and WW2, it is still a great read. I would recommend for ages 12+

    3 March 2012

  • Once is so emotional but in a fantastic way. One can re-read it 100 times and never get bored because Morris Gleitzman has made the book so interesting, yet exciting. All the books in the trilogy are amazing, but Once is somehow the best. I recommend this book to all readers.

    1 March 2012

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  • Photo of Morris Gleitzman

    Morris Gleitzman

    One of Australia’s, and now the world’s, best-known and loved children’s authors, Morris Gleitzman 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.


    Morris has won many awards in Australia, including the YABBA award for Bumface and Toad Rage, and won the 2013 Redbridge Book Award for After.

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