Always by Morris Gleitzman

I hadn’t read a book in this series for a while but I have seen, over many occasions, primary school aged children clutching to these, devouring the words and the life of the main character – the hero – the young boy to be admired – Felix.

Always moved me, like the other books did as well – but in many different ways that relate to the world we live in today. It really makes you wonder how far we have really come after all the destruction and distress we have caused when in many parts of the world hatred and discrimination still continue.

We meet Wassim, a young boy who is orphaned yet lives with his Uncle in Eastern Europe. He lives in a place where racism runs deep and with his black skin, he is often a target for bullying and crime. However when he finds a note from his late grandfather that tells him to get in touch with Felix Salinger – he is determined to do so, so that his life, and his uncles will be better off. It doesn’t take him long to find Felix Salinger – and life is looking up – until his enemies the Iron Weasels’ find out that Felix is still around and helping their enemy Wassim….

The relationships in this story are those that you wish for yourself – young Wassim – the hero of this story with his ever optimistic yet sensible attitude, Uncle Otto – serious yet kind and of course Felix as a much older man yet still so clever and kind.

Topics of discrimination, war history, racism and what kindness really is run through this story and can be dwelled upon for many moments after the story has finished.

It is the perfect book for a novel study in the Stage 3 and 4 classroom – I haven’t come across any lessons and activities yet but I am sure they will be around soon!


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