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After (Once/Now/Then/After)


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About the Author

Morris Gleitzman was born in Lincolnshire and moved to Australia in his teens. He worked as a paperboy, a shelf-stacker, a frozen chicken de-froster, an assistant to a fashion designer and more, before taking a degree in Professional Writing at Canberra College and becoming a writer. He has written for TV, stage, newspapers and magazines but is best known for his hugely successful children's books including Two Weeks with the Queen, Bumface, Once and Then.


One of the reasons this humane and carefully crafted book is so readable is that the author celebrates ordinariness and childishness even as he chronicles terrible cruelty. But prepare for shock and tears. -- Nicolette Jones (on Then, children's book of the week) * Sunday Times *
Haunting . . . dangerous and desperate, but also full of courage and hope. * Guardian on Once *
[Morris Gleitzman] has accomplished something extraordinary. * Meg Rosoff *
Extraordinary . . . one of the finest children's novels written in the last 25 years . . . Narrative at its gripping best * Sydney Morning Herald *

Continuing the story of Felix from Once, Then and Now, After follows the events of Then. The war is still going on and for the past two years Felix has been hiding in a hole in the barn of a man named Gabriek. When the farm is burned down, Felix has no choice but to join the partisans in the forest. We see Felix (who is now 13) become a medical assistant to the partisan doctor, find a mother figure in Yuli and in turn act as a parent to a group of orphaned children-including both Jewish children and a couple of members of the Hitler Youth. Surrounded by the violence of the partisans we see Felix grapple with the idea of killing. As a reader you will wonder if the horrors Felix has seen will turn him into a hardened killer or if he will retain his sensitivity. There are a few moments of humour slipped in-Felix has been reading the ‘Just William’ books while hiding in the barn and at times prays to Richmal Compton. While Felix still has an innocence about him, his narration is much less naive than in the first two books. This is a very emotional read. After is recommended for readers aged 12 and up who are interested in historical fiction. Some violent scenes do occur so be mindful with readers at the younger end of this spectrum. Amelia Vahtrick is the children’s book buyer at Better Read Than Dead in Newtown

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