This book has surprised me! I had to search more about Once and the author. I found it was only written in 2005. I would have thought it was written much earlier by the content. It was written by Morris Gleitzman, an Austrailian. This also left me a little amazed, as it felt like it was written by someone who had experienced at least some of the content. Morris Gleitzman's research has shone from the pages of this little treasure. If you want to find out more about Morris Gleeitzman's researched readings, his life, and/or his writing of this novel, and the others that make up this series, then journey to the Once (Morris Gleitzman Novel) Wiki page.
There were parts of this book that left me open mouthed considering it is a childrens book. But... it is so brilliantly written, from the perspective of Felix, a ten year old boy, that I think it is a wonderful resource for middle schoolers, especially boys.
I actually had this book packed away in a box! Can you believe it? What a waste of a good novel. I dragged it out and thought I would read it. I should have done so long ago. My son is now opening the pages and I am sure, without a doubt, he will swallow every word. He has watched and read many movies and resources on the history of the past wars. This book puts it into the perspective of a boy, rather than an adult. If you like your children reading 'living books', and you have a middle grader, then take a look at this one. You may want to read it yourself first as there are a few parts that surprised me, but the author has written this in such a way that it moved past these incidents and I followed the boy's journey rather than the happenings around him.
For more of my reviews check out my blog: http://readlearnandshine.blogspot.co.nz