The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of my favorite books ever written. It was published in 2006, by John Boyne, and is set during World War II, at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. It is narrated by Bruno, the 9-year-old son of a Nazi Commandant. Bruno’s innocent perspective makes the novel absolutely gut-wrenching, as he has no idea what exactly is happening beyond the fence surrounding Auschwitz.
Bruno’s father has a high station in the Nazi hierarchy, and he is on very close terms with Fuhrer Hitler. In fact, Hitler has Bruno’s father move out of Berlin and to Poland so he can oversee tings at Auschwitz, much to Bruno’s dismay. The new house at Auschwitz is old and gloomy, not at all like his previous home in Berlin. With nothing to do except explore, Bruno makes a number of startling discoveries that, in turn, lead to a massive turn of events.
Overall, this book is a roller-coaster of emotions. Readers will laugh at Bruno’s adorable perceptions of things that we understand with ease, cry at the mistakes he makes because he doesn’t know any better. John Boyne expertly wraps the reader up in the plot, writing complex, dynamic characters that the reader can sympathize with. This book is just an amazing read, and if you’re looking for a novel that will enrich and educate as well as entertain you, your search has met its end.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded from Overdrive.
For this month’s post, I decided to write about one of the most shushed topics of history: WW2.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is about Bruno and his “explorations” during WW2. In the beginning, he and his family have to move since Hitler, or the Fury as it says in the book, gives a commandment job to Bruno’s dad. In the book it does not say that the Fury is Hitler but the reader can figure that out since the people on the other side of their house, the new house, are wearing striped pajamas and are being killed systematically.
For this book, instead of a summary, I wanted to give my opinion on how this book is. I thought overall this story was very good. But, honestly, I thought the ending was way too harsh. SPOILER ALERT! When Bruno and Shmuel are gassed, it leaves the reader with nothing. As the reader, we have been on a long journey with both of them and in the end they suddenly die by being gassed. So, overall I would say this book was a 4/5, I just can’t bear the ending.
Let me know what you think about the ending– was it too harsh or was it perfect?
-Satej B., 8th grade
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a book about a 9 year-old named Bruno, who is forced by his father, a commander in the German army, to move from his five story mansion in Berlin, to a house in the middle of nowhere called simply, “Out-with”. From there, Bruno slowly learns about what we now call the Holocaust. He can see the concentration camp in the far distance from his mundane bedroom window and his curiosity leads him directly to the center of the unfathomable. From wild adventures in a slave camp to a run in with an unstoppable tire swing, to his friendship with a mysterious boy in striped pajamas named Shmuel, this is a book that you won’t forget.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn history in a non-boring way. ⚠ THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART ⚠ It has a very sad ending and contains very deep insight into life during one of histories most tragic times. I hope that you can pick it up at your local library or bookstore as this is a life-altering read.
-Evan G., 6th grade
Friendship. A simple word that possesses a significant meaning. True friendship is something that is difficult to come by and may arise in the most unexpected way. A friend may share laughs with you or tell you that they love you. But a real friend will have a mutual understanding with you that will allow them to tell you their deepest, darkest secrets. A real friend will always be there for you through thick and thin. And they will be able to put aside their differences to see and accept you for what you truly are.
Written by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of the most compelling stories you will ever read. Nine-year-old Bruno is a child living in Nazi Germany with his parents and older sister. When his father, a military man, accepts a new important job, the family is forced to move from the city to an isolated, mysterious place in the countryside that is surrounded by Nazi soldiers. But strangest of all is the fence—the place where fate brings Bruno to meet a peculiar boy dressed in a pair of striped pajamas.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is truly a wonderful book that is well-written and ultimately shocking. It is narrated by Bruno, a naïve child who does not really understand what it going on. At times, this made parts of the book a little confusing, so I had to infer and use past knowledge to figure out what was going on. For example, Bruno says that his family is moving to a place called “Out-With,” which really means Auschwitz. However, this unique narration was able to convey the overall message with even more meaning.
By exploring the beauty of innocence and the desire for friendship, it makes the story even more chilling and unforgettable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of twelve, as it does cover the time of the Holocaust in Germany. For those of you who have read The Book Thief and don’t mind stories that don’t always have the perfect ending, this book is for you!
-Kaylie W., 9th grade