A few years ago my son read a Morris Gleitzman book titled Once. My son’s response to the book was positive, and I remember him asking me so many questions about World War II and the Holocaust. Although Once was fictional, it encouraged my son to explore the reality of what happened during a very important time in history. My son couldn’t wait to read the next book of the series titled Then. Morris Gleitzman has also written three more books, After, Now and Soon. When I received his latest book Soon, I was curious to see if the story was too confronting, and whether it was appropriately written for a young reader. So I read Soon as a stand- alone book without having read the others. Slight mention was given to characters from the previous books, which was enough for me to have a glimpse into the background of the main protagonist, Felix, and what he had already endured during World War II.
Soon continues the journey of Felix, a thirteen-year-old Jewish boy facing the emotional and physical challenge of having to endure the devastating post war environment of Poland. Food is scarce, theft abounds, black market trading is thriving, living conditions are terrible, and innocent people are still being shot. Felix finds himself living in a secret hideout amongst the ruins of the city buildings with Gabriek, a middle-aged man skilled at repairing things and making vodka. Gabriek provides Felix with protection, food, shelter, and most importantly friendship. Throughout the story Felix’s friendships are tested as he deals with life-threatening situations and ruthless gangs. Felix’s circumstances give him reason to be angry, depressed and hopeless, yet Felix remains optimistic and soon learns that some aspects of life are out of his control. He may not have the ability to solve these big problems but his capacity to love and care for others amid all that is happening around him is a mark of a true hero.
Morris Gleitzman tells this exceptionally moving story from a child’s perspective. The thought monologue by the main character allows the young reader to get closer to Felix’s feelings. It also invites the reader to journey alongside Felix as he discovers the shocking effects of war. In Felix, Gletzman has certainly created a likeable and believable character. The reader will easily be drawn into this fictional narrative that is connected to a past reality. Soon is appropriately written for 12 year olds and up, or early high school readers. Older readers will also appreciate the talent of Gleitzman.
With themes of love and friendship, highly appealing characters, plus a powerful and action-packed storyline, Soon by Morris Gleitzman is a gripping and enjoyable read.
Thanks to Penguin Books Australia for sending us a copy of Morris Gleitzman's latest masterpiece Soon in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE : 24 June 2015
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE : http://www.morrisgleitzman.com/fst_contents.html
PUBLISHER'S WEBSITE : https://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670078875/soon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Morris Gleitzman is the bestselling Australian children's author of almost 40 books, published in more than 20 countries, and is loved by children around the world.
In the ten years since publication of the first book in his series about a Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied Poland, Once has enjoyed phenomenal worldwide success. Once has sold more than 130,000 copies alone and alongside subsequent books in the series Then, Now and After, more than 300,000 copies have sold in total in Australia and over 150,000 in the UK. The series has been published in ten different languages, including Chinese, Italian, German and Slovenian and is continuously nominated for and the winner of numerous awards in Australia and overseas including many readers choice awards.