The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

A Fable

Large Print - 2006
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Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.
Publisher: Oxford : ISIS Large Print, 2006.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780753176504
Characteristics: 194 p. (large print)


From the critics

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Jun 27, 2019

If you are a stickler for historical accuracy or realistic probabilities, this might not be the book for you. I'm not even sure I would label it as historical fiction. It is more of a tale with a lesson woven delicately through it and I thought the author did an incredible job constructing it. It would make a great read-aloud with a child that was mature enough to understand the Holocaust on some level. It is also quite a polarizing book so I recommend reading it yourself to see where your opinion lands.

Jun 06, 2019

'Another holocaust book,' you would think.
I think not!
This book is not in the usual perspective of the Jews. This book is in the perspective of a German boy, Bruno, who's father is a German soldier.
One day, Bruno finds Maria, the house maid, packing his things. He soon learns that his family is moving to Out-With, which is Bruno and her sister, Gretel's way of saying Auschwitz.
This book is different from other books, the voice is clear and stubborn, like a 9 year-old's. John Boyne did a great job trying to describe Bruno and his family's situation, adding the opposite side's voice, for example, Bruno's grandmother, and adding clues for the characters' description, leaving the reader to infer.
I suggest this book for grade sixes and up book clubs, since it has few mature subjects, for example, the horrifying events of Nazi concentration camps, and it is a good book to connect, infer, and visualize.

Jan 26, 2019

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a children's novel in which Bruno, the 9 year old son of a high ranking Nazi Commandant, must move to Auschwitz when his father is posted there. Bruno does not understand why there is a fence between his new house and the camp; he does not understand who lives in the camp and why they must all wear the same striped pyjamas. One day, Bruno meets Schmuel, a 9 year old boy on the other side of the fence. The two strike up a friendship and meet whenever they can on their respective sides of the fence, to chat. Bruno continues to be ignorant about the conditions on Schmuel's side of the fence. After a year, Bruno's unhappy mother convinces her husband to let her and the children move back to Berlin. Bruno breaks the news of his imminent departure to Schmuel. They make a plan for Schmuel to bring a set of "pyjamas" to their next meeting, so that Bruno can put them on and slip under the fence, to help Schmuel look for Schmuel's missing father, as an adventure to mark their last day together. While Bruno is in the camp with Schmuel, many of the prisoners are rounded up, including Bruno and Schmuel, and are herded into a long, air tight room. Presumably, they are gassed to death. Bruno and Schmuel hold hands in the gas chamber, to the last. Bruno's father figures out what happened and becomes a broken man. When the Nazis are defeated, he goes willingly as a POW.
The story is shocking in its ending, all the more so because of the innocence of Bruno as he narrates his experience. The author does not pretty up the story, despite the fact that this is a children's book. Bruno's father is presented as a complex man, one who was a patient father, and who was kind to the maid, Maria, in paying for her mother's hospital and funeral expenses, and then taking her in as a maid when she had nowhere else to turn. Yet, he has ambitions to rise in the Nazi party. The mother, similarly, is loving towards her children, but she drinks heavily and has an affair with a young soldier.
Verdict: Horrifying depiction of Auschwitz told from the standpoint of the innocent 9 year old son of a high ranking Nazi officer. 4.5 stars out of 5.

Jan 26, 2019

The book was actually pretty good and very interesting, but it was a little bit confusing. Otherwise a good book on ww2.

Mar 28, 2018

This book is about a nine year old boy that goes on a journey to a concentration camp during ww2

I felt really good reading this book because I got to learn alot about Nazi and what they wore some specific things in this book

I do recommend this book to 13 and up kids

Mar 14, 2018

The Boy In The Striped is written in a strange way where it's narrated from a nine year old boys perspective; however in the end this works out really well as it gives you something to think about, such as when Bruno pronounces 'Fuhrer' as 'Fury, or 'Auschwitz' as 'Out-With'. This makes the story alot more emotional to read, as it takes a very serious point in history and mixes it with a nine year old boy's naivety.

Even though the book isn't non-fiction, many things in the story also relate to real life; such as the location of the camp, how it was laid out, etc. All the main characters are well thought out, each with their own personality and way of doing things.

It really shows how differently a nine year old boy from a rich German family excelled so much more than a Polish boy, taken away from his Mother and left in horrible conditions.

Overall, this book is really interesting because it combines fiction and non-fiction, has a completely new way of narrating something serious and has a twist towards the end. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to know more about Auschwitz, and the way people were treated in it, but don't want to read a massive non-fiction book that could get boring over time.

Aug 11, 2017

This book brings to life the heartbreaking history of concentration camps. The story covers what many young and innocent children had to go through during this time.

Aug 07, 2017

This book is written in an odd way and takes some getting used to. Although there are many factual errors (nine year-olds would have been killed upon entering Auschwitz and Bruno mistakes words like Fuhrer and Auschwitz for Fury and Out-With, which would only work in English, despite Bruno speaking German) this book was overall very good. The ending made me cry, and it gives a pretty unique perspective, from inside the house of a Nazi soldier. It really makes you why the Nazis were driven to such terrible acts, since Bruno's father was said to be kind to the maid Maria after her mother died, and it shows the power of brainwashing, especially on young children like Gretel. I would recommend this book.

SCL_Justin Jul 18, 2017

John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a strange little book. It’s about Bruno, a very naive 9-year-old boy from Berlin whose father is a Nazi commandant transferred to Auschwitz.

Bruno, being nine, thinks life on the other side of the fence from his house must be gobs of fun, what with the pajamas they get to wear. He meets a boy on the other side of the fence and they strike up a friendship, in which Bruno displays his ignorance and privilege. It’s not a terribly realistic story and belongs in the zone of fairy tale, but set in our own monstrous history. Nothing really sounded very German, but did sound very much the way a British person would portray a naive little German boy. It’s like Bruno was Pooh, stuck very far from the Hundred-Acre Wood. I didn't mind it, but if you want a more in-depth "German kids in WW2" story read The Book Thief.

Jun 30, 2017

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is an amazing YA book that portrays the horrendous incidents in Nazi Germany through a moving story.
A niave nine-year-old boy named Bruno, and his family, move to a new house, "Out-With". Bruno, with nothing to do at his new home, decides to pass his time by taking a walk along the fence outside his home. One day while doing that, he meets a boy on the other side of the fence, wearing an unusual set of striped pyjamas. Bruno and the boy, Shmuel, seem to have a lot in common and the only thing that sets them apart is the fence, and the intangible fact that Shmuel is Jewish while Bruno is not.
This book has a deep message that we are all the same and only our beliefs set us apart, and our beliefs are nothing to differentiate us at an extent of murder. So many Jewish citizens died during Nazi Germany, and this book was written to help us all recognize and remember the ones that were lost.
I give this book a 4/5 star rating.
I recommend this book to readers ages 12 and up.
- @ilovefood of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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Age Suitability

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Jun 06, 2019

AwesomeErin_07 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Apr 21, 2019

secretswimmer thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jan 26, 2019

someone13 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 13, 2018

mauve_cockroach_34 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Apr 14, 2018

thevales thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 07, 2018

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 06, 2017

Posey_MayLove thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 30, 2016

cnelles thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 06, 2015

red_hawk_889 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 60

LoganLib_Sophie Mar 02, 2015

LoganLib_Sophie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Summary
Jun 24, 2015

The book, is about a young boy named Bruno. In the start of the book in lives in Germany at the time of world war 2. Because, of his commander father, he is forced to move to a concentration camp named "Auschwitz". There by the fence he meets his new best friend. The book talks about, young Bruno's perspective on the world, during WW2.

Jan 24, 2011

9 year old Bruno is the son of a Nazi solider. One day, he comes home, and his father takes his family and moves to a countryside. There, they live in a house called "Out-With". Bruno finds it very lonely there, until one day he sees men and boys in stripped pajamas. He is very curious about this, and goes to explore. There, he finds Shumel, a Jewish 9 year old that is in the concentration camp that Bruno's home is so close to. Though they were separated with a wired fence, they become best friends, Bruno going there everyday to talk to Shumel, and Shumel waiting for him. But then, Bruno's father says that Bruno and his sister and mother must go back to Berlin, their orginal home. Bruno isn't willing to go back because he didn't want to lose Shumel, so for the last day he was at his home, "Out-With", Bruno sneaks under to fence to see what is on the other side.
Bruno never got to see Berlin ever again.

Nov 29, 2010

very sad book and its sad that during the holocaust(think i spelled it right) many died because of no reason and many just sat there and did nothing about it.

Rachel A. Bidulka
Oct 23, 2009

9 year-old Bruno, son of a Nazi solder moves from home town Berlin to Out-With, the name of their new home. one day Bruno go off exploring inot the forest, where he finds the concentration camp, and a little boy name Smeul, a Jewish boy. This is the story of Bruno adventures in a Nazi's world, and the adventure of Bruno and Smeul.

Fences like these are all over the world. We hope you never have incounter one


Add a Quote
sarag1 Jun 21, 2016

"'You're my best friend for life.'"

Nov 10, 2011

"fences like these exist all over the world we hope you never happen encounter one" -John Boyne

Jan 24, 2011

"And then the room went very dark and somehow, despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shumuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go."


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