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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Paperback – October 23, 2007
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This story is written from the perspective of a nine year old boy and Boyne did that really well. The voice was very innocent and convincing. The way he explained the surroundings and happenings throughout the book was very well written and made it easy to mentally paint a picture of it all.
I really enjoyed Bruno as a character and the innocence of his voice. The way he sees what’s going on around him without understanding that there’s actually a war going on.
I also really enjoyed seeing the other family members through Bruno’s eyes, and especially his frustration with the older sister.
There are some other characters that really show the faces of both side of the war, but I wont say anything more about them, so that I don’t spoil the plot.
I flew through this book, not because the pace was so fast but because the story was very captivating and interesting.
Even thought there were no very surprising plot twists it did had a nice build up, was very emotional and had a satisfiable ending.
I’m a sucker for historical fiction (and non-fiction), and especially the ones that revolve around World War II. I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank as a little girl and it was one of those stories that grabbed such a strong hold on me that I’m still under its grip. It sparked my interest for reading and for knowing more about the war.
I think this book could definitely inspire other young readers to do the same.
A profound and heartbreaking view on the Second World War from innocent and naive eyes.
Bruno is Not Allowed to approach the camp, or the fence. But, since he plans on becoming an explorer when he grows up, he decides to Go Exploring (wearing an old overcoat and boots, such as an explorer might wear). And on the other side of the fence he sees a speck. A dot. At tiny thing that, as he gets closer, reveals itself to be a boy. Just another boy, perhaps a boy for Bruno to play with.
This book is startling, horrifying, and yet the story is told in a charming way. Bruno and his friendship with Shmuel through the fence is just the story of two boys, but also a story of a Jewish Concentration Camp, told through the unaware eyes of the son of the man in charge of the camp. Bruno's naivete brings the humanity into the story, and makes it unique. Just a wonderful, scary, suspenseful and at the same time heartrending—story, leading up to a beautifully written climax.
My 11 year old (VERY reluctant reader) and I read this separately at the same time. I knew there would be situations that would require explanation. He says "everyone should read this book because it's a good but sad story. The boys were good friends in a bad environment. If they can be good friends then anyone can." The last few chapters we read aloud together because he didn't quite understand what was happening. This was fine because it allowed me to explain and have a more in depth discussion about the world during that time period.
If you are looking for a book that has a happier ending, look at Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. We read that first. My 11 year old wanted to know more, my 10 year old son(natural reader) stopped there. It depends what your child can handle at this age.
I did feel there were a few details that seemed unbelievable. I wouldn't have thought that the Jewish boy would have been able to leave the camp to spend so much time with Bruno and this kept popping into the back of my mind as I read. I think the parents would have noticed his long absences or one of the servants would have. At times, I wondered at Bruno's naivety and wished his character could have grown in his sympathy and understanding of his friend a little more as the story progressed, although he did have some breakthroughs at times. I also thought how much the Jews were hated, by both children who had been taught to hate them and adults, yet Bruno didn't seem to understand any of this.
Overall, I did think this story was thought-provoking and worth the read. It surely could lead to some worthwhile discussions with children about why it's so important not to try to silence those with different opinions and belief systems than our own. This book is a good catalyst for this.