Set in the current day, this is the final book in the series that began with Once, continued with Then and is . . . Now.
Felix is a grandfather. He has achieved much in his life and is widely admired in the community. He has mostly buried the painful memories of his childhood, but they resurface when his granddaughter Zelda comes to stay with him. Together they face a cataclysmic event armed only with their with gusto and love—an event that helps them achieve salvation from the past, but also brings the possibility of destruction.
Now is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012
Following Once and Then, this finale to Gleitzman s trilogy brings the stories of Felix and Zelda, orphaned children in Nazi-occupied Poland, to a conclusion both frightening and tender. Though this story can be read on its own, similarities in narrative voice connect the tales (as in the earlier volumes, the titular word begins each chapter). Readers of the previous books will quickly recognize a new setting 21st-century Australia and narrator: Felix s 10-year-old granddaughter, named Zelda after his brave, murdered friend. Gleitzman subtly explores Felix s terrible survivor s guilt and its effect on following generations, against the backdrop of Australia s heat wave and devastating 2009 bushfires. Felix s impassioned confrontation with local bullies ( People die because of stupid, vicious talk like that ) gives Zelda a rare glimpse into the past of a grandfather she admires, while emphasizing how undeserving she feels of her name, believing she lacks her namesake s bravery. Felix s altruism in the face of calamity frees Zelda to embrace the present, while her courage helps him save a life and put to rest his oldest love. A poignant close to an affecting and heartrending history. Ages 10 up.