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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

A Fable

By John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2006,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2007,
    240 pages.

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There are currently 68 reader reviews for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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Louise J (04/02/12)

A Startling Read!
Bruno is nine-years-old when he arrives home from school one day to find the maid, Maria packing up the belongings in his room. He becomes very upset and demands to know what is going on when his mother comes into the room and asks him to meet her downstairs in the dining room. Bruno is so anxious that he speeds past his mother and his waiting for her downstairs before she even has a chance to step off the first stair. She tells Bruno that his father has received an important promotion and they must leave Berlin and move to another city and live in another house. Bruno, of course, is quite upset as he doesn’t want to leave his beloved home nor his three best friends. His mother assures him that things will be alright and that the whole family including: Bruno; his twelve-year-old sister, Gretel; their father; the maid, Maria; the butler, Lars; and Cook will all be moving together.

When they arrive at the new house Bruno is very disappointed as it sat almost in the middle of nowhere with no other homes nearby nor markets or stores. All Bruno can see from the window of his new bedroom is a fence with barbed wire on top, some huts in the distance, and older men, younger men, and boys all wearing the same grey striped pajamas and grey striped cap with soldiers watching them. He doesn’t even know what his father’s job is.

What is this place and what could possibly be his father’s job working with all these dirty, filthy people all dressed the same? He wants to be an explorer so decides to go for a walk. He follows the fence along for quite a distance until he comes to a piece of fencing where he sees a small boy. The boy approaches the fence and he and Bruno and make introductions and begin talking. The boy’s name is Shmuel, he is the same age as Bruno and even shares the same birthday. During an entire year, naïve Bruno brings his new friend bread, cheese and cake most days as the boy doesn’t have enough to eat.

One day Bruno is told by his father that his mother, Gretel and Bruno will be returning to Berlin while he stays and continues working at the same job. He tells Bruno that it is no place to raise children and he’d be much happier back in Berlin. Bruno is devastated, he doesn’t want to go back to Berlin now because he doesn’t want to leave Shmuel but they plan to have a last day together like no other bringing the story to a crashing end! I was totally taken aback at the ending and didn’t expect it at all.

John Boyne has written a book about nine-year-olds that isn’t for nine-year-olds as it says on the back cover of the novel. Don’t miss this one people, it’ll surprise you and break your heart so have some kleenex standing by. Beautifully and hauntingly written.
hotsinglebiissh (: (03/07/12)

....
Intense , very interesting book about a young boy taking an adventure through a forest and ends up in front of a fence. He finds out that he ends up in front of a concentration camp. He ends learn about things his parents don't want him knowing about the war. His dad is general for Hitler.
The Stirling Community (03/01/12)

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Awesome.
Heidi Bieber (02/08/12)

The boy in the striped Pajamas
Really, sad, intense book,
harsheen (09/15/11)

the boy in the striped pyjamas
This book is interesting to read, and also you learn how the Germans treated the Jews and at the end how they died
Cloggie Downunder (09/07/11)

not as good as the Book Thief
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is the 5th novel by Irish author John Boyne. It is a holocaust tale from a different perspective: that of the naïve and innocent young son of a concentration camp commandant. He asks his father when they arrive if his father has done something bad at work to be punished in this way, being sent by the Fury to this awful place, Out With. Bored, and missing his friends in Berlin, Bruno eventually sets out to explore, and meets, on the other side of a big fence, a boy in striped pyjamas. It is a friendship with tragic consequences. The device of using a child’s narration to describe something he cannot understand, but that is perfectly clear to the adult readers, is a clever one, but some glaring inconsistencies make this story less credible than it could have been, and perhaps detract from its strength. Bruno seems too naïve for a German 9 year-old in 1943, especially about Jews and Hitler; the idea that Shmuel has the time and opportunity to sit alone by the fence daily seems very unlikely; that the fence is not regularly patrolled, and that it has a gap the size of a small boy, again unlikely; the other children in this novel also seem far too naïve. The Fury and Out With, I can accept as a literary device, and these are effective, in their way. Inconsistencies aside, Boyne does depict the setting very skilfully and builds the main character well. As a Holocaust fable, I guess it gets a message across, but I’m not sure for whom or what exactly that message is: maybe, tell your children the truth, don’t try to protect them from uncomfortable facts? I enjoyed reading it but I thought The Book Thief was much better.
Drishti Jain (07/04/11)

The boy in striped pajamas
According to me, I didn't found this book very interesting as it consisted of too many characters by which I got confused...this is a good book too for those who like suspense and horror...by the way I didn't expect horror, but it is in the end...I didn't like the book much but it's good for small children...that's why I rated only 3 out of 5...all the readers must read"GODFATHER" by MARIO PUZO....it's an excellent book I think.. :-)
Waverley School yr 7 (06/12/11)

The boy in the striped pyjamas
This book was quiet enjoyable we read it as a class in year 7, it is based on a boy that is German and a boy that is a Jew and how they communicate as different citizens how they react as their generations being enemies???? rate: 4
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