The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story about the horrific events that took place during the Holocaust, told from the innocent viewpoint of a nine-year old boy named Bruno. Bruno’s dad works for Hitler, and he gets a new job: to run the Auschwitz concentration camp (although the story is fictional, Auschwitz was a real concentration camp). Bruno’s family has to move away from Berlin, and at first Bruno is unhappy about it. But when he meets Shmuel, a boy in the concentration camp, his whole world changes. They are separated by a fence, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming friends. Every day they secretly meet at that fence and talk to each other about their very different lives. Throughout the whole story, Bruno is oblivious to everything that is happening around him. He doesn’t realize what is happening in the camps, and he doesn’t even know that there is a huge war waging. He doesn’t know who Hitler really is (besides being his dad’s boss), he thinks that the striped uniforms everyone in the camp has to wear are striped pajamas, and he doesn’t understand why the prisoners are in the camp in the first place. Although Bruno and Shmuel are the same age, it is interesting to see how different they are from each other. Bruno may be naïve to everything around him, but Shmuel knows exactly what is happening, and seems much more mature. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was such a good book that I couldn’t put it down. Besides the fact that it is gripalicious, it is also just a really interesting technique of telling a story. It is written in such a way that the reader always knows more than Bruno does, all the way to the end of the book. If you have read The Book Thief or other books like that, I’m sure you will enjoy The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I found myself getting pulled in to Bruno’s world and getting attached to the characters. The only thing I disliked about the book was the ending, but although it was sad, it sort of brought a feeling of resolution or closure to the story. If you are easily disturbed by violence, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not for you. I would suggest this book for ages 11 or 12 and up.

One Response so far.

  1. Jordi says:

    I don’t think you had to mention that Auschwitz is an actual place. Also, I’m going to add the word “gripalicious” to my daily vocabulary, so thanks for that!

    p.s. I love your blog

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