The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Bruno is nine years old and lives in a big, beautiful house in Berlin in the 1940s with his twelve-year-old sister Gretel, his mother, and his father, a high-ranking soldier. After a visit by “the Fury,” the family moves out of their big house to a smaller house with no other houses nearby in a place called “Out-With.” A bunch of people all dressed in blue striped pajamas live behind a high fence with barbed wire. Bruno has no one to play with or talk to until he meets a boy his age, Shmuel, who lives in the compound. They talk through the fence and become friends. Bruno’s oblivious naivety can only lead to tragedy.

Author John Boyne has written a fable of the Holocaust, but it is all too hard to believe. Bruno seems much younger than he is portrayed and seems naive almost to the point of being stupid. It is hard to be engaged by him and his story. The illustrations in this edition enhance the fable feeling of the story, but it isn’t enough to make this all work. This is a disappointing book.

Reviewed By:

Author John Boyne • Oliver Jeffers, Illustrator
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publish Date 2016-10-11
ISBN 9780399559310 Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Young Adult


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