THEN is a companion book to ONCE by Morris Gleitzman (Holt 2011). At the end of ONCE, Felix and Zelda were running from the train bound for a concentration camp. As THEN opens, the two children (Felix is 10 and Zelda even younger) are fleeing from the Nazi soldiers. They thinkthey have broken free when they come upon a mound of bodies in a mass grave: all children. The Nazis have killed all of the orphans because they wanted the orphanage for lodging for their own soldiers. The Nazis have also issued a reward for anyone turning in Jewish children in the community. How can Felix and Zelda manage to survive? Gleitzman once again proves he can keep a story as taut as a tightrope and keep readers turning pages hoping the best for Felix and Zelda but fearing the worst. <317>
Often companion books or sequels are a disappointment. That is most certainly NOT the case with THEN. Put this in a ladder with THE BOOK THIEF, ONCE, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, NO PRETTY PICTURES A CHILD OF WAR, BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY, and the GN biography of ANNE FRANK.