This is the final book in the Once series. Felix is an old man, and the granddaughter we met in an earlier book is now an adult and has travelled overseas. The book is told from two perspectives – Felix and the young Wassim, who travels to Australia to get Felix’s help as he and his uncle are threatened by a gang very reminiscent of the Nazis that Felix survived. There is a connection – Wassim’s grandfather helped Felix decades before.
There was a lot to love in this book. A strong sense of conclusion of the story that Gleitzman started seven books ago, as well as the way he ties the past to the present, possibly raising social justice issues that some readers may have never encountered. However, for me, I didn’t love this one. There were too many parts of the story that didn’t feel real to me, and while I’ve been able to suppressmy “as if” factor for most of the others, it was a bit hard with this one. But, I think that is definitely my issue reading it as an adult, and being very aware that I’m not the key audience.