Letter Essay #8- Once by Morris Gleitzman

Issabella Merrill



Letter essay #8


Recently,  just finished Once a 150 page Historical fiction novel by Morris Gleitzman, an award winning author who published his first book in 1987. His book Once has sold over one million copies in the last 4 years. I recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense/ realistic fiction novels. This book is an easy-read and empowerful story.


In the book Once, Felix Salinger has lived almost his whole life in an orphanage. Throughout his life he has been taught to fear mean men. He has been hidden away from the world. Being regardless, felix ventures on a quest into the unknown world to find his long lost parents, before it’s too late. Throughout his journey felix finds himself face to face with natzi soldiers, running from jew kidnappers, and meeting Gladys, his savior. Will felix ever find his parents? I was really surprised when Felix decided to go out in the open, to find his parents. In the beginning of the book the author described felix as a kind soul that wouldn’t break rules, or run away. In this part of the book felix didn’t even think before running away, he just knew that he needed to find his parents. I noticed how the author slowly described scenes and events in each chapter to give the reader more understanding of the situations. This was very helpful for me because I could fully understand the book, and not have to re-read it. This also helped with my understanding of the character’s personality, and how their train of thought works. When I first started reading this book, I thought that I would not like the story line, because i’m not a fan of  historically based books. I found that past page 20, I really liked this book and I enjoyed the author’s writing, that I read Morris’ Gleitzman second book in the series Then.  


“A little kid. What sort of people would kill a little kid just for the sake of some books? A horrible thought grows in my throbbing head. What if us Jews aren’t being bullied just because of books? What if it’s because of something else?” (pg 56). This quote takes place when felix escapes from the orphanage and experiences the new world. In this scene, Felix really doesn’t know what’s happening. It isn’t the world that he remembers. He doesn’t know who the strange men are, and why they are killing innocent children. This quote has importance, because it connects with felix’s experience, and his new learning of the new world. On a scale of 1-10, I rate this book a 8.5, because of its amazing storyline, and how the author described the scenes very realistically.




Issabella Merrill

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3 thoughts on “Letter Essay #8- Once by Morris Gleitzman

  1. Dear Izzy,

    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay! This novel sounds very interesting and you described it well. I used to be bored by historical fiction books but, recently, I have grown to love them. I think what started it was the book “Echo” which I recommend to you greatly!! It is amazing! I hope I get the chance to pick up this story soon. Can’t wait to read more of your writing!

    Nicole XD

  2. Dear Issabella,
    Good letter essay. I did not see the 3 sentence starts but it is fine. I may read this book because I need to read a lot more books before the end of the year. Also I would want to know why it is only a 8.5/10.

  3. izabella,
    you had a lengthy summary that seems to have covered the book and then some which is good. But you could have made it a little shorter but a good essay.


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