Then by Morris Gleitzman is a war fiction novel about the life of two children, Felix and Zelda during wartime Poland. Then is first published in 2008 and is printed in Australia. Morris Gletizman’s message in the book allows readers to remember and relive the memory of the unforgettable history period of the Holocaust and the Nazis. Gleitzman wanted to show the rare kindness of people during wartime and the effect it had on children like the main characters, Felix and Zelda.
The book Then is set in Poland during the period of the Holocaust and Nazis in 1942. The book is about the two orphans, Felix and Zelda, who escaped from a train that travel to a Nazi death camp for Jewish people. They struggled to survive without food or water. They met Genia, a farmer who became their guardian and provided a shelter and kindness to the two children. Felix and Zelda embarked on a terrifying journey to disguise their identity, escape from sinister Nazi soldiers and overcome challenges and suspicions of Genia’s neighbours.
There are three main characters in Then, they are Genia, Zelda and Felix. Felix is a ten year old Jewish orphan whose parents were killed by the Nazis. Although Zelda is not his family, he is very protective and cared a lot about Zelda. This is illustrated when Felix thought “if I was twelve I could carry Zelda on my back” and this also showed Felix’s love for Zelda. He is also very intelligent, a quick thinker and very brave. He did a poo in his pants to avoid Cyryl and his gang pulled down his pants and discover his Jewish identity. He made a hiding hole for Zelda in the barn, digging the hiding hole under the dog, Leopard’s kennel; once again this proved Felix’s intelligence. Felix also idolised Richmal Crompton, an English writer who he prays during dangerous situations and worshiped him like a God.
Zelda is a six year old Catholic girl who is an orphan. Her parents were killed by the Polish resistance. Zelda hated her parents who were Nazis at the start of the novel. This is shown when she drew two happy figures and said “They are not my parents”, “memories aren’t happy, they are sad” which illustrated her hatred and reluctance to think about good memories about her parents. She is also a very curious and clever girl who always asked Genia and Felix about daily events and questions she does not know the answer to. Her curiosity and questions reflected her lively personality and also her love for Felix....