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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1080L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books; Reprint edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385751532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385751537
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (778 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description

This work was set in Berlin, 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is now a major motion picture (releasing in November 2008). Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see a larger image in a new browser window.



--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–John Boyne's novel (David Fickling books, 2006) is a harrowing Holocaust story with an excruciating ending. It is told through the eyes of nine-year-old Bruno, whose family moves from Berlin after his father gets a promotion to Commandant. When the family arrives at their new home, Bruno is disheartened. The new place, which the boy calls Out-With, is desolate, with a large camp on the other side of a big fence, behind which all of the people, except the soldiers, wear gray-striped pajamas. After starting classes with a tutor, who advocates history over art, Bruno explores his new surroundings and meets Shmuel who is living in the fenced-in area. Bruno never quite grasps why his new friend is behind the fence, but he knows that he should keep quiet about their visits. Only mature listeners with knowledge of World War II and Hitler's final solution will be able to interpret what the author unveils slowly (there is no mention of a war going on or the ability to get news from the radio or newspapers). Still, the novel will certainly augment the study of this period in history. There is the added bonus of an interview with the author and his editor at the end of the recording. With the eager urgency and excitement of the young protagonist, Michael Maloney reads with a British accent, using various voices for the many characters. Sometimes he drops the ends of words, which can be distracting. Haunting music between chapters adds to the suspense. A unique addition to Holocaust literature.–Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of seven novels for adults and three for children. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award, reached no.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was made into an award-winning Miramax feature film. His novels are published in over 45 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Well written story.
BayJean
The book gave insight into the boy's thoughts and by reading it you really do not know exactly what happened at the end.
CAF1690
It's a very short book and an easy read.
teri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 221 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've read many books that fall into the "Holocaust literature" category. This one may actually be a book that is written in a style that COULD be read by a child but should be read by adults. Whether it is suitable for children depends on how sensitive your child is- and how well you think he or she could handle some very graphic details. They aren't "graphic" in the sense of being spelled out in detail but the reader's imagination can fill in the blanks. At age 9, this book would have been far too intense for me - and the main character in this one, Bruno, is age 9.

The author used a technique which was brilliant, taking readers into the mind and thoughts of a child whose father work for the "Fury" (the Fuhrer) and who is sent to live in Out-With (Auschwitz), on the safe side of the fence, in an actual home.

The novel is labeled "a fable" and I think this was a wise choice by both author and publisher. After all, no one knows exactly how a 9 year old son of a German officer would think and young Bruno seems remarkably naive sometimes. But just as light sets off shadows more vividly, I think his exaggerated innocence allows readers to experience the horrors of Auschwitz that much more. For that reason, I don't think the accuracy of Bruno's character is all that important. The effect on the reader (THIS reader, anyway) is profound and deep.

After moving to Out-With (Auschitz) Bruno meets a boy "on the other side of the fence", one who is the same age, a lad named Schmuel. At first Bruno is envious of the boy who gets to wear striped pajamas all day and who seems to have lots of companions.

On Bruno's side there are few playmates and he doesn't realize that he has so much compared to Schmuel.
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100 of 111 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I first started reading, I didn't find the simplistic writing style appealing and thought I would be glad to finish the book so I could move on to another more challenging. It wasn't long before I became engrossed in viewing the situation through the eyes and voice of the 9 yr old boy, Bruno. I did not critique what I was reading from the perspective of what a 'real' 9 yr old living in that era should or should not have known about Nazi Germany.

I decided to write this because I was disappointed by the comments of a couple of the other reviewers who were upset that the book did not include historical accuracy. I never thought I was purchasing a history book, and therefore did not expect to receive a history lesson. To me the message of the story is broader than the era it is set in. This is the tale of an unlikely friendship between two 9 yr old boys. That friendship is allowed to grow because of their innocence, and because they do not judge one another by their stations in life. It's a very powerful, moving fable. I loved it for exactly what it is.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Books about the Holocaust are never easy to read. Some are downright terrifying and some make the reader nauseous. This book however approaches this period in history from a new and interesting angle and tells a tale of what might have happened, and in doing so opens up these stories to a whole new generation of readers. The book was originally marketed as a children's book, and then remarketed as adult fiction because of the content. The author claims it is just a book, and soon it will be a major motion picture due out in the fall of 2008.

This is the story of two boys who lose everything they hold dear, yet the reality of their loss is completely different. Bruno's life is changed when his father is given a new job and they move from their five-story home in Berlin to a new home in the country that is only three stories tall. He has lost his 3 best friends in life, and his home with the banister and the attic window that looks out over all of Berlin. His new bedroom window looks over small huts in a fenced-in area where everyone wears striped pajamas. One day while being rebellious and doing what he should never do, he walks along the fence and meets a boy with whom he shares a birthday. Shmuel and Bruno meet most days and sit on the opposite sides of the fence and talk. As their friendship grows Bruno's youthful innocence is challenged.

The novel is told in the third person narrative, but told from a nine-year- old's perspective. Though the reader knows that the story takes place at Auschwitz, Bruno cannot pronounce it, and misunderstood the name from the beginning. Yet in not naming the place the author leaves the story as a much broader tale.
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113 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
The subtitle of this book is `A Fable', and so I suppose we are not meant to look for too much realism in this Holocaust story. Possibly (so one review suggests) written for children, its subject matter is grim enough; but its tone, especially at the beginning, put me off: it is faux-naive and painfully arch; and there are too many unbelievable aspects of it. The central character is nine-year old Bruno. The first false note is struck when Bruno learns that `the Fury' has big things in mind for his father, who is a high-ranking member of the SS and is in fact being posted, with his family, from Berlin to become the Commandant at Auschwitz. Of course it is ludicrous that a nine-year old in Nazi Germany would have misheard - not just once but persistently - `the Fury' for the Führer or `Out-With' for Auschwitz (the puns don't work in German anyway). In 1943 a little German boy, especially one whose father was in the SS, would have been in the Pimpfen, the section of the Hitler Youth for six to ten year olds, where he would already have learnt to worship the Führer; he would have learnt the notion of the Fatherland, which in this novel seems to puzzle him; he would most likely have followed the campaigns of the German army on maps and would have known (as he doesn't) where Poland was; and he would already have become familiar, at least in the abstract, with the concept of Untermenschen - instead of which he doesn't even know what a Jew is, and, when his sister mentions the word, he asks her whether he and she were Jews! He had lived in the Commandant's house at Auschwitz for a whole year - and we are to believe that he had never heard the word!

Some parts of the book are a little more credible.
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