Monday, March 21, 2011

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne

"If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (The this isn't a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world.
We hope you never have to encounter one." -back of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the incredible story of the Bruno, the son of a Nazi 'commander' who works at one of the work camps, during the Holocaust. Bruno has led a normal life in Berlin, where he's had friends, and a very nice house as long as he can remember. Then, one day, the Fury comes to dinner, and after dinner, everyone is very excited because his father has been promoted, he's a commander. Shortly after this event, Bruno comes home one day to find the servant girl, Maria, packing his belongings. He finds out that him, his mother and father, and his sister are all going to be moving. They end up at place called Out-With, which is a home located right next to the work camp. Eventually, Bruno goes exploring around and finds another nine-year-old boy who shares his birthday, and they become friends. His name is Schmuel. He's a Jew who 'lives' at the camp. The rest of the book is mostly in regards to their friendship and all of the events surrounding it as perceived by a rather naive nine-year-old, who really doesn't understand what's going on between the Germans and the Jews, or even what a Jew is.

It was a great book. It was sad. It was odd, because nothing was very dark or scary in reading simply because you were seeing it through Bruno's eyes, and as I said- he's very naive. He doesn't understand any of the bad things, so you don't really see them- although you know what's happening if you know anything about history-, (the end is a good example). It's great because even though Bruno's dad is a major Nazi, Bruno doesn't get any of that -no one ever told him-, so it's not focused around that and he doesn't hold the same ideas. It was a sad, but good book.

If you're looking for a fantastic historical, or want to read more about that terrible part of history, or just want to read a book that deals with an important issue, you should read "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas". I also recommend it to people that enjoyed "The Book Thief" or the upcoming "Between Shades of Gray".

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