'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 17 September 2021

Review: Always

Always is the seventh and final book in Morris Gleitzman’s outstanding series featuring the hero Felix. It marks the end of two journeys; the one taken by Felix, the other, the writing journey with Felix by the author,which began sixteen years ago with Once.

Followers of this series can expect many surprising revelations.

The dearest thing to ten year-old Wassim living in Poland, is the memory of his dead parents whom he frequently speaks to at the cemetery. 

His short list of treasures includes Uncle Otto who has cared for him since he was orphaned almost a year ago.

His last is a book left to him by his Grandpa Amos with a note in it instructing the boy to find the international hero Felix Salinger, if ever he’s in trouble.

He’s in the worst trouble now, after being beaten and almost choked to death by the criminal gang the Iron Weasels. Their racist actions extend to Otto, with frequent abuse, intimidation and death threats. Time to obey Grand's words.

Felix is well into his eighties now. Active and well, he lives in aged care in Australia. Wassim believes he can still solve any problem.

Computer research tells Wassim all he wants to know about Felix. With money from the sale of stolen goods belonging to the Weasels stored in his garage; Otto buys tickets to Australia and Felix. His plan; to return to Poland alone and take care of his persecutors.

Without his consent, Wassim finds himself left with Felix who sees the strength, courage and intelligence of the boy and commits to helping him. Strong bonds are formed between the two.

Everything that Felix holds dear is taken from him by the evil that stretches its tentacles across the world.

Wassim and Felix are helped by special friends who build a ring of protection around them so they can return safely to Eastern Europe and Uncle Otto.

One mystery links to another as the clever Wassim, full of logic and analytic thought, fights with Felix for a freedom which always seems just beyond reach.

But can Felix protect the boy from the agony of a truth, used as a weapon to destroy him?

Within the brilliant main story and deeply-moving sub-stories, the residual horror of war, shivers between the lines that round off the lives of the characters that surfaced long ago.

Title: Always
Author: Morris Gleitzman
Publisher: Penguin, $ 19.99
Publication Date:
31 August 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143793243
For ages:
10 – 14
Middle Grade Fiction