I didn't know about my grandfather Felix's scary childhood.
I found out what the Nazis did to his best friend Zelda.
I understand why Felix does the things he does.
At least he's got me. My name is Zelda too. This is our story.
Now is the third book in the Once series, charting the way one Jewish boy manages to survive the Second World War, against incredible odds.
***Spoilers ahead for the first two books***
At the end of the second book, poor Felix has just seen his foster mother and friend hung in the town square for what amounts to 'looking at the Nazi officers a bit funny'as far as I could tell.
In Now, we jump straight to modern day Australia, which kind of surprised me. It's also narrated by a young girl, instead of Felix. It quickly turns out that the girl is Felix's granddaughter and her name is Zelda too. Zelda has come to live with Felix while her parents are in Africa and she's having a hard time with bullies at school.
If you've read Once and Then, you'll know that Felix also has some experience of bullies. The people that bullied Felix were six million times more deadly than the bullies who are being mean to Zelda, but Zelda's bullies still sound pretty awful.
So obviously we find out that Felix survived the war and we also find out how he managed to survived
and what he did after the war. I was really glad because holy shit, did that kid have some evil crap thrown at him in the first two books, so it was nice to see that Felix had managed to rise above the things that had happened to him (as much as anyone can) and had made a success of his life.
As the book progresses, we see that maybe the things that happened to Felix in the war are still affecting him today and when a natural disaster strikes he and Zelda have to work out what's most important.
I'm not sure if I enjoyed this book as much as the first two. I preferred Felix's narration to Zelda's and Zelda's situation, although horrible, couldn't really compare to the horror of what Felix went through.
I guess Morris Gleitzman initially meant for this to be the final book in the series. It has a lot of closure about it. So when I found out that there were two further books, it kind of spoiled them a little for me. After all, the majoity of the tension in the first two books comes from not knowing whether Felix will survive. I think I'm still going read the next two books though - the writing and characters are so good as I really want to see what will happen.