Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Author: John  Boyne
Genre: Young Adult – Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 12th 2006
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Age Range: 12+
Pages: 218
Date Scoot Read:
May 2011
: Hardback Library Book

Scoot's Rating: 8- Really good!

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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 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.
Scoot’s Review: Bruno is a 9 year old boy growing up in Germany.  Bruno’s father is the Commandant and has a special new assignment from “The Fury”.  However this assignment requires them to move far away, to a small home where there is no one to play with.  Until one day Bruno meets a boy his age behind the fence.  A boy in striped pajamas.  Bruno and his friend Schmuel find common ground and strike a friendship that will change both of their lives.  This story was heartbreaking.  I feel it was well written from the simple point of view of a 9 year old.  The writing style was redundant at times, but that is often how young children are.  They repeat things.  The only real problem I had with the story was how naive Bruno was.  I feel that in the time period he was raised in Bruno wouldn’t have stayed so innocent so long.  At his age he should have understood more of what was happening around him.  As the reader you can comprehend from what Bruno sees what is really going on, but Bruno never seems to understand.  However, Bruno’s innocence was part of what made this book so touching.  Bruno and his friend Schmuel are just two boys who wanted to be friends and don’t really understand why they can’t be.  The story had more of a twist than I was expecting and tissues were required, but I still really enjoyed it.   



Beth S. said...

I read this book a few years ago and I still remember it so vividly - which is unusual for me since I so often forget books soon after I read them.

The fact that most people have such a strong reaction to Bruno's naivete I think was by design. I mean, think about how many adults during WWII who chose to live in denial and turned a blind eye to what was happening. I think Bruno's naivete was more a commentary on that than the author's belief that a real 9-year-old boy would continue to have blinders the entire time.

Belle said...

I agree, the book annoyed me because of Bruno's naivete. To not even know who the Fuhrer was?! Or what a Jew was?! Ridiculous and totally realistic. A nine-year-old in Nazi Germany - especially a Nazi's son - would have had those things drilled in to him by nine.


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