- Age Range: 10 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 970 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 7, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1627790306
- ISBN-13: 978-1627790307
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 78 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Random, 2006) delivers another powerful allegory in this compelling World War II story about a young boy swept into the fear, zealotry, and bigotry of Nazism. In 1936 Paris, seven-year-old Pierrot Fischer is orphaned. After the deaths of his devoted French mother and troubled, abusive German father, Pierrot is temporarily cared for by his neighbor, the mother of his Jewish friend, Anshel. When his German aunt, a housekeeper at Hitler's Berghof, Berchtesgaden home, sends for Pierrot, his name is changed to Pieter, his friendship with Anshel is denied, and he resides at Berghof with the house staff, awaiting Hitler's periodic visits. Despite the warnings of his aunt, Pieter embraces Hitler's volatile attention and dogmatism, turning against family and friends. With skill and emotional detachment, Boyne tells Pieter's story through descriptions and dialogue that are concise, spare, and vivid. Ahead of Pieter, readers will grasp the impending consequences, pain, and horror of the boy's obsequious relationship with Hitler. Woven into the story are authentic personalities and facts including the dictator's passion for dogs, painting, anti-Semitism, and unquestioning loyalty. Pieter's story offers a lens for examining post-traumatic stress disorder and the violent and coercive extremism of the 21st century. VERDICT Pieter's traumatic childhood, infatuation and interactions with Hitler, adolescent angst, and destructive choices will captivate teens and prompt thought-provoking discussion.-Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain:
"With skill and emotional detachment, Boyne tells Pieter’s story through descriptions and dialogue that are concise, spare, and vivid . . . . Pieter’s traumatic childhood, infatuation and interactions with Hitler, adolescent angst, and destructive choices will captivate teens and prompt thought-provoking discussion." ―School Library Journal, starred review
"Boyne’s (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 2006) story is unarguably a powerful one with an often visceral impact." ―Booklist
"a compelling account of the attractions of power, the malleability of youth and the terrible pain of a life filled with regret" ―The Guardian
"John Boyne delivers a poignant tale of innocence ruined by Nazism. This is a story full of suspense and heartbreak that will leave readers wanting more. Compare this book to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." ―School Library Connection
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave:
"This is an excellent and approachable introduction to the traumas of war. . . . not simply a book about the horrors of shellshock but also a comprehensive depiction of many different aspects of life during World War I.” ―School Library Journal
“Boyne has an eye for period details, an ear for dialogue, and a knack for creating individual, consistent characters.” ―Booklist
“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas:
In the final pages, the tension rises precipitously and the harrowing ending, in which Bruno does finally act, is sure to take readers' breath away.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Deeply affecting . . . beautiful and sparsely written.” ―The Wall Street Journal
Top customer reviews
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The Boy at the Top of the MountainThe Boy at the Top of the Mountain
What I didn't like was that there wasn't a real climax; no sudden dawning that Hitler was evil. The language is overall pretty good. There is some violence. There is one scene in which Pierre tries to sexually assault a girl. There are scenes of murder and suicide. All of these, of course, are real parts of war.; however, I would only let upper grade (junior high and older) students read it.
Overall, the book is pretty good--but just not anything exciting. Just a story.
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is a cautionary tale of the power of influence in shaping a person's life. Pierrot doesn't realize the mistakes that he's been making until it is too late. Because the book is an honest portrayal of what could happen, it is a sad book to read but worthwhile. For preteens and teens, this book should be read and discussed. As a teacher, I can just imagine the great conversations that this book could catalyze in a history or a literature classroom. The possibilities are abundant.
Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Children's Publishing for an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.