July 27

Soon by Morris Gleitzman

9780670078875It has been out nearly a month! And I had to wait to get my hands on the latest in the Felix adventures! But ‘once’ I got my hands on the copy, ‘after’ the other librarians had finished. ‘Then’ I sat down to read with a class, and had to finish it off that night. ‘Now’ I have to work out what I can say to explain to you how wonderful this book is, without spoiling.

If you have read any of the books in the Felix series, you will remember that Felix is a young Jewish boy caught up in the Holocaust of World War II. We have followed Felix through his various captures and escapes, and remember his train ride towards disaster. He has lived with partisans and eventually built a new life in Australia. All the time he somehow maintains a positive outlook and faith in humanity.

Soon covers the period of time immediately after the war. When one government had gone, and nothing was in place. Life was tough, for everyone. And with Poland for the Poles roaming the streets killing indiscriminately, life for Felix is more than a little dangerous. Then he is handed a bundle by a girl running for her life. That bundle happens to be a young baby, and suddenly staying quiet and secure becomes just a little more difficult.

Gleitzman has always been able to view complex world issues through the eyes of children, and he can write for kids with a real sensitivity and understanding. Over the past 20+ years I have read books where he looks at issues of disability, refugees, environmental damage, as well as the Holocaust. Many times I have had discussions with adults that firmly believe that kids should be protected from all such unpleasantness. Personally I have always taken the side that argues that kids need to know and understand so that it never happens again.

Thank you once again Morris for the chance for a wonderful read.