Blurb: Sometimes it takes the worst of times to bring out the best in people. I hoped the Nazis would be defeated. And they were. I hoped the war would be over. And it was. I hoped we would be safe. But we aren’t. My name is Felix. Her name is Anya. This is our story.
Author: Morris Gleitzman
Publisher: Puffin Books, owned by Penguin Group
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children’s
We rejoin Felix, this time when the war is over, as he and Gabriek try to make sense of this new era for Poland. But, as always, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.
Once again, I feel the need to point out that, this series remains one of my favourites of all time. Gleitzman writes Felix’s story so tenderly that I can’t help but be moved. This period of history is such an important one, and one that must never be forgotten, and it is handled in these books with honesty and care. In this book we gain a glimpse into post-war Poland which, even compared to Felix’s experiences of WWII, is no walk in the park. Still having to hide, Felix must join forces with other children in an attempt to protect himself from those who want him dead.
The characters are all so real-feeling despite their awful circumstances and Gleitzman doesn’t shy away from actual human nature. Not everyone is portrayed as a ‘good person’ but you can see why they do the things they do. This made the characters three dimensional which is something I really appreciated. I continue to be attached to Felix and Gabriek and found myself consistently on the edge of my seat hoping that they make it out ok. The storytelling flows well and explores a cohesive set of events that don’t feel rushed or sluggish.
On a more practical note, as if you needed any more convincing to pick up this series, none of the books are very long so they can be a fairly quickly and are a useful way to get over a reading slump. The plot of all of the books advances fairly quickly so we don’t spend a lot of time waiting for the action to start. The font size isn’t too small either which would be helpful for anyone who finds tiny prints difficult to read. All in all, it’s a perfect book!
There wasn’t anything to dislike about this book, but when comparing it to what I rated the other books in the series, it seems that I’ve become a harsh critic. This book didn’t make me cry, although it is moving, so I dropped the rating slightly for that. However, I will continue to champion this series for a long time to come! The only thing I would note is that there are some distressing issues that are discussed in this book so be aware that it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Overall, I cannot recommend this series enough! A true must read for pretty much any age which an incredibly important and moving message of survival in the toughest of times.
If you’d like to read 5 ⭐️ review of the first book in this series, Once, you can find it here!
Have you read this book? What did you think? Or maybe you’ve read something similar that you’d recommend? I’d love to know!