"Then", tells the story of Felix, a 10 year old Jewish boy in Nazi occupied Poland. Felix escapes from a train headed to a Nazi death camp and befriends Zelda, a little girl whose Nazi parents have been killed by the Polish resistance. Together they struggle for survival, sleeping in the woods and witnessing all manner of horrors that they barely manage to escape themselves. They are taken in by a reluctant good samaritan named Genia, who hides them on her farm, until she too meets a gruesome fate at the hands of the Nazis.
Although there is much written about this horrific period of history, this book tells Felix's story in such a straightforward, unsentimental way, that it gives readers a unique perspective on this much told story. There are however, graphic descriptions of violence, which would make this book most appropriate for 6th grade and older.
This book is the sequel to Gleitzman's other book about Felix, titled, "Once" and another in the series titled, "Now", is due to be published. 2010.