Read p. 56-102.
1. On Thursday are we going to discuss the questions below:
‘Once I walked as fast as I could towards the city to find Mum and Dad and I didn’t let anything stop me. Not until the fire.’
1. What changes have taken place in Felix (e.g.: more cautious, fearful of Nazis) and how do they influence his actions?
2. How does Felix control his anxiety and make use of his storytelling ability?
3. Do you think Felix did the right thing by a) taking Zelda and b) not telling her the truth about her parents at that point?
4. What other choices did he make for Zelda’s benefit?
‘Once I woke up and I was at home in bed. Dad was reading me a story about a boy who got left in an orphanage. Mum came in with some carrot soup. They both promised they’d never leave me anywhere. We hugged and hugged.’
1. What is the significance of the following: the armbands? Felix’s predictions about the future?
2. How does Felix answer his own question – ‘Why would the Nazis make people suffer like this just for the sake of some books?’ (p.64) Why is this a turning point?
‘Once I spent about 6 hours telling stories to Zelda, to keep her spirits up, to keep my spirits up, to keep our legs moving as we trudge through the rain towards the city.’
1. Why does Felix go from 6 hours of storytelling to keeping Zelda’s spirits up, to the point where he suddenly hasn’t ‘got any more stories’ (p73)?
2. Describe the toll such a journey takes on Felix and Zelda – physically and emotionally. How is it they manage to survive?
(Questions are inspired by Andrea Blake)
‘Once I lay in the street in tears because the Nazis are everywhere and no grownups can protect kids from them, not Mum and Dad, not Mother Minka, not Father Ludwik, not God, not Jesus, not the Virgin Mary, not the Pope, not Adolf Hitler.’
1. Explain what Barney is doing. What sort of a person do you think he is? What does he represent?
2. What impact does the realization that no-one can protect the children have on Felix? How does this affect his belief in the power of stories?