The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne
Hardcover- $12.59

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has ...

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  "Easy read, not uplifting" by stephdemuth (see profile) 01/12/09

I meant to rate this a two.
This book takes you by surprise since the book jacket offers no summary. I found the book somewhat predictable, but it was still a good, well written, easy read. However, I am not sure why it made any of the best seller lists.

 
  "An interesting slant on WWII, from a child's perspective. Of course it's focus is 1 family, 1 place, 1 outcome dealing with Hitler's policies." by llray (see profile) 03/19/09

Good group discuss, a variety of interpretations to events in the book, mostly focusing on how much did the children really know? At the end we discussed if this book was really a children's book. We decided yes, but that depending on the children's age a guided study would probably work best for intermediate elementary students.

 
  "A Different Perspective" by jennieathome (see profile) 10/26/09

I did not read this as one of our "club" books. My 11 yr. old daughter came to me and asked if I she could read it. Knowing that she didn't no much at all about the Holocaust, I wanted to be sure I read it with her. This was a wonderful book to introduce her to this part of out history. Not a lot of detail which I appreciated and so much of the book was really left for the reader to leave make their own assumstions. It allowed me to decide what I information I wanted to share with my daughter and how far to take it. I had to describe to her "Out-With" and "Fury" and there hidden meanings. It lead her to ask some very intriguing and thoughtful questions. It also allowed us to draw our own conclusions about certain characters (Pavel). Overall, my daughter and I found this book to be a wonderful tool to begin discussion about the Holocaust.

 
  "the boy w/the striped pajamas" by aliciafaierman (see profile) 04/16/10

packed up w/compassion naive & believing scariest & most horrible subject viewed from child's perspective great read!

 
  "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by readingfamily (see profile) 07/11/10

 
  "Boy in Striped Pajamas" by CindyW (see profile) 07/21/10

 
  "the Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by DaniCaraveo (see profile) 02/09/11

Although our book club discussion was very spirited, the book itself was very simplistic and lacked depth. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they were doing a study of the Holocaust --- it offers a different outlook on that.

 
  "Probably good YA book, but not great for book clubs" by FTessa (see profile) 06/11/13

Audio book performed by Michael Maloney.


When 9-year-old Bruno arrives home from school one day he finds the family maid, Maria, going through his things. He is incensed until his mother explains that Maria is helping to pack because the family is moving from their large (5-story) Berlin home to a new city for his father’s job. The reader quickly becomes aware that Bruno’s father is a highly placed Nazi Commandant and has been assigned to oversee the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Bruno, however, is a child – and can be excused for being somewhat innocent and more concerned with the impact on himself (he’ll have to leave his “three best friends for life!”)


There is an interesting premise here – to tell the story of two boys separated by a fence, but united in their “boyness.” I also get that Boyne was trying to show that complacency was the great perpetrator of the Holocaust (and of many genocides since). However, the voice he chose for this story really irritated me.


Perhaps part of that was the fault of audio performer Michael Maloney, who gives Bruno a very young voice, with a nearly breathless delivery. He really sounded as if he were under age six. He was more than innocent – he was oblivious and immature to an extent that was just unbelievable to me … unable to understand why the children in the striped pajamas could have “playmates” while he could not, and unable to pronounce German words when he’s a native German speaker (“the Fury” vs der Fuhrer or “Off-With” vs Auschwitz).


The ending is a stunner. And Boyne somewhat redeems the work by giving us a sense that Bruno’s father finally understands the impact of what he has done.

 
  "Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyle" by tina55 (see profile) 07/24/13

This was an interesting read with an ending that Is a surprise. Bruno is an innocent 9 year old during WW II living in Berlin at the beginning at the story. Fast moving and is an excellent view from a German boy of the Holocaust. My book group had a lively discussion over this book and we will be watching the movie in the coming week and will compare the two.

 
  "Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by kimrichard (see profile) 02/10/16

Provides some deep discussion about a very dark time in our history. Loved the perspective from a nine year old boy's perspective.

 
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