Tuesday, 15 June 2010
176 pages, Paperback
Nayuleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Summary from Puffin
Morris Gleitzman's acclaimed story of friends Felix and Zelda in Nazi-occupied Poland has captured the hearts and minds of readers worldwide. In Now he delivers the final chapter, bringing this most moving of stories into the present day.
I haven't read the previous books Once and Then. I will do, now I've read Now, but you really don't have to read the others to be pulled into this emotional packed book.
Flex is now and old man, with a grand daughter named after his war time friend who died at such a young age. Zelda knows all about what happened to her name sake. She loves her grandfather dearly. Together she helps him celebrate his birthday, and get recognised for the work he's done. What is so refreshing is that Zelda means well in what she does, but somehow it ends up in disaster. We're talking minor disaster her, but with the circumstances of the book, Zelda is convinced they are huge disasters affecting the whole community.
Felix understands Zelda better than she understands herself. How he acts towards her shows his love of her - disasters and all. For, with all that Felix has faced, a few little incidents aren't really anything in the grand scheme of things. Not that Zelda knows this, but it's something she learns throughout the novel.
Through Zelda's experience at school, she learns more about her grandfather and in turn about life itself. The emotions attached to Felix's memories had me in tears. I could figure out things that Zelda's young mind couldn't.
The best part of the book - in terms of hitting me emotionally - was the forest fire. I've heard about forest/bush fires. I've seen the pictures on the news from last year. But reading about Zelda (modern day Zelda) and her grandfather's experience of the fire was humbling. I was scared for their lives. It made me literally stop and think while reading the book about how people are affected by such devastation. Throughout it was Zelda's innocence, which took the edge off the book a little (it reduced the intensity for the intended age group).
Morris Gleitzman has lots of information about his books and himself on his website.
Check out the previous two books, Once and Then.