Sarah's Stars

Morris Gleitzman. Once
Puffin $11.95  ISBN 0-141-32063-X  150 pg.
Reviewed by Darcy, Age 12

I think about Barney and what was in his jacket pocket when I hugged him just now.  Metal syringes. I know he wonít let the others suffer any pain. Heís a good dentist.  Heíll tell them a story about a long peaceful sleep, and itíll be a true story.

Morris Gleitzman wrote a very believable story of a young boyís life during World War II.  Every chapter is started with the phrase ĎOnce Ií.  I found that it really kept the book flowing and on track by using that phrase. This book is definitely a good one to check out.  It has the all-round package, from an eye-catching cover to some awesome writing.

This story is about Felix a young boy who has gone through his fair share of troubles throughout his life.   During dinner one night at the orphanage he finds a carrot in his soup, which he thinks is a signal from his parents.   With the odd occurrence of the carrot still fresh in his mind Felix grabs his meager belongings and hits the trail.  When at the orphanage he was told that Hitler was a hero and that he was an honest leader who wanted the best for everyone.  He was told that because if someone questioned him, it would help him pass as a Christian instead of a Jew.  After a bit on the road he rescues Zelda from the yard of a burning house that had been set fire by the Nazis.   Her parents had been shot during the ordeal.  The two become fast friends and begin to count on each other for protection.  Once they reach the city they start looking for their parents,

Felix hadnít told Zelda that her parents were dead, as Nazis attempt to arrest them.   Luckily for them, Barney, a kind-hearted dentist, talks the soldiers out of it and Felix and Zelda are spared.  Here starts their life with Barney that is full of adventure and drama.

Once deserves four stars for its phenomenal sense of reality and excellent writing.

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