The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  166,941 ratings  ·  11,586 reviews
Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the stran...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by David Fickling Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Brandy
I hardly know where to begin bashing this book. Do I start with the 9-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister, who read about 6 and 8, respectively? The imperial measurements (miles, feet) despite the German setting? The German boy, raised in Berlin, who thinks that Der Führer is "The Fury" and Auschwitz is "Out-With," despite being corrected several times and seeing it written down? The other English-language idioms and mis-hearings, despite our being told that he speaks only German? And that h...more
Madeline
As Michael Kors once sighed to a clueless designer on Project Runway: Where do I start?

Let's open with some descriptive words that sum up this book, and I will then go on to explain them in further detail: Patronizing. Insipid. Smarmy. Just plain bad.

Patronizing: I believe that to write good children's literature, you have to think that children are intelligent, capable human beings who are worth writing for - like Stephen King, who probably thinks kids are smarter than adults. The author of T...more
Wayne
Feb 10, 2011 Wayne rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wayne by: I'm too kind to say
I seriously suggest you read about what happened to real children in the Holocaust. It won't fill your thoughts for many days or shock you; rather it will fill your LIFE and make you feel sick to the core of your being.

Paul Friedlander, himself a survivor, recounts in his recent highly praised book the incident of 90 Jewish infants all under the age of five, orphaned after their parents were murdered in a mass shooting.
These children were subjected to indescribable mistreatment for days.
Then the...more
Arlene
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is truly an amazing yet daunting novel that I will never forget. The author John Boyne did a masterful job of depicting the setting in such vivid detail and exposing the events in a manner that I felt a constant emotional pull as the story unfolded and impending doom lingered on the horizon.

I was recommended this novel a while back while reading The Book Thief, but after finishing that story and experiencing such deep sadness, I knew I couldn’t jump into another no...more
Betsy
I'll give it this much. Few books have caused me to actually shake SHAKE in anger. Wow. I think I need to go boil my eyeballs for a while. What was the author thinking?
Cecily
A powerful concept, but very poorly written (even allowing for the young adult target audience) - and the only book I can think of that was better in the film version.

Bruno is 9 and lives in Berlin in 1943 with his parents and 12 year old sister. They are wealthy and his father is an important soldier who is promoted to be the Commandant at Auschwitz. The trick of the story is that Bruno doesn't realise the horror of what goes on behind the barbed wire, where everyone wears striped pyjamas, even...more
Bibliophile
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a Holocaust “fable” by the Irish writer John Boyne, in which a nine-year-old German boy named Bruno arrives at Auschwitz (or as the novel coyly and annoyingly calls it “Out-With”) when his father is named as the camp’s new commandant. Bruno is incredibly naïve (to the point where I began to wonder whether he might not be mentally retarded, in which case he would most likely have been murdered under the Nazi euthanasia program long before the timeline of the book...more
Al Bità
There is nothing to learn from this book. There is much to dislike. From certain perspectives, it can even be said to be detestable.

First of all, there is the authorial conceit that the work is written from the perspective of a child. The worst example of this come in the use of euphemisms for the Fuhrer ('the Fury') and for Auschwitz ('Out With') which become increasingly irritating as the work progresses. Bruno's 'difficulty' with these words is somehow supposed to charm us, and apparently giv...more
Peter Kubicek
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" would easily top my list of "Worst Books about the Holocaust."

I am writing as one who was there -- I was once myself a boy in striped pajamas and am a survivor of six German concentration camps. This book is so ignorant of historical facts about concentration camps that it kicks the history of the Holocaust right in the teeth.

John Boyne's premise is that the nine-year old son of the commandant of Auschwitz, bored with his isolated life, takes walks to the fence s...more
J-Lynn
I finished this book yesterday and I am still having trouble forming an opinion--but here it goes. I have thought about it a lot which is generally a sign of good writing, but in this case, maybe I am thinking about it because the book disturbed me.

If I look at the Holocaust historical fiction genre as a whole, I am not sure what this book adds to the group. It does show another point of view, from the child of the Commandant of Auschwitz, but Bruno is so terrifically dense--naive well beyond hi...more
Bill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dianne Ascroft
Jan 25, 2009 Dianne Ascroft rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in historical fiction
I decided to read this book because a friend told me that, in some respects, it reminded her of my novel, ‘Hitler and Mars Bars’. So I wanted to find out what she meant. The most obvious similarity is that the main character in each book is a German boy who is caught up in the events of the Second World War.
Both books are simply written but effective and moving. Unlike my own book, Boyne’s novel is completely unadorned. Yet it also captures the character’s emotions and the situation he finds h...more
Cheryl Klein
Nov 09, 2008 Cheryl Klein added it
Recommends it for: People who need a reason to stab their eyes out
Shelves: children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Priscilla
SO SAD. T__T

Initial thoughts:
1. Well...the book wasn't as sad as the movie. Although the subject matter is heavy, the POV from the 9 year old main character somewhat counteracted that.
2. Because the story follows the journey of Bruno, the book had a consistently had an innocent and naive quality to it. The story never got particularly graphic or dark.
3. Really liked the different dynamics between the characters. From Bruno's interaction with Maria and Pavel, to Lieutenant Kotler, and Shmuel. Gen...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

What an incredible story! John Boyne has created innocent, naïve Bruno and given him a powerful story to tell. This moving book should be required reading for everyone.

Set in the 1940's in Berlin, Germany, the story centers around a nine-year-old German boy named Bruno. His family leaves Berlin to move to the country because his father has been reassigned by the "Fury." Bruno's youth and innocence has protected him from the harsh...more
Kelly Maybedog
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
I've had this book on my To-Read list for a long time, since I really enjoy reading books of this kind. I haven't seen the movie, and I really had no idea what to expect from this one. That being said, I wish I could have liked it more than I did.

This story is told in 3rd person limited, from the perspective of a 9 year old boy. Bruno, our main character, is moved unexpectedly from his large home with 5 floors (if you count the basement and the little room with the high window at the top) in Be...more
Ceci
Jun 21, 2008 Ceci rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all who want to learn more about themselves
I think this is a wonderful book. The naivety and simplicity of the protagonist which affects the story as well is a narrative gimmick... and it works well, throwing the horrors of the holocaust into stark contrast. It's a dark adult fable, and I dare say that an adult reader will get more of it than an adolescent. At times, the narrative is almost like poetry, with the many ellipses and phrases that are repeated over and over again.

I also believe that this is an important book for the German d...more
Hadrian
Another case of some unscrupulous bastard making money with overwrought dramatizations of real tragedies. The Holocaust was a crime beyond imagining, and tying in adorable children and cliched tales of ~Friendship~ would only make the book more tempting to those easily swayed by the spell of sentimentality.

Urgh.
Martine
I wanted to like this book. I really did. After all, how can one fail to be drawn in by a story about a German boy, the son of a high-ranking Nazi officer, who makes friends with a Jewish boy at Auschwitz, only to fail to understand his new friend's situation and meet a gruesome end with him? It's a great premise with plenty of scope for drama. A writer looking to fictionalise ignorance of the Holocaust would be hard-pressed to come up with a better idea.

Sadly, I found myself rather underwhelmed...more
Jonathan
I know that this is supposed to be a fable, but nonetheless I found the environment that Boyne created highly disturbing. The fact that Bruno's father was a top Nazi officer and that he met Hitler should have exposed Bruno to the hatred inherent in Nazi ideology. Ignorance can certainly be blissful, but when it comes at the hands of so many deaths it is disturbing.

My fear is that a fictionalized account of the Holocaust, such as this one, will take away from the facts and horrors of what happene...more
Farzana
Irritatingly simple, even though it was aimed at kids, it insulted the reader's intelligence time and time again. The unreliable character was also irritating and completely dense when it came to ANYTHING at all. In the end, he deserved what happened! (I don't want to spoil the story!) But being an English teacher, I WILL NOT be encouraging my students to read this book!

And to the teacher who raved about it: read some REAL fiction!
K.B.L.
In the jacket summary, the author claims that the book is not for children, (and yet it is found in the children/young adult section) and that the book is meant to teach adults something. Then he states that he "didn't want to tell what the book was about because it would spoil it"--thus there *is* no actual summary...
But by the third chapter, I wondered just how stupid he thought that the readers were. Word usage, such as where they move being "Out With" and "Fury" (which makes no sense because...more
Milan/zzz
Well this is book for Young Adults and therefore I must admit that the style was a little bit problematic for me. I guess because I'm only an "adult". It's very simple, very on the level of the main character but after a while I get used to it and I might say that this naiveness was even charming. Big part of the book is like as if we are waiting something (big) to happens, the main thing but I wouldn't say the book is boring; again it was charming.
I usually find myself very irritated with the...more
Jimmy
Bukan atas nama suku, agama, ras, ataupun golongan, tapi atas nama kemanusiaan, semoga semangat Bruno lahir di hati saya, hati Anda, hati kita semua.

Auschwitz adalah nama yang digunakan oleh Nazi untuk mengidentifikasi tiga kamp konsentrasi utama dan 40-50 sub-kamp yang mereka ciptakan. Ketiga kamp utama itu adalah:

1. Auschwitz I, kamp konsentrasi yang juga berfungsi sebagai pusat administrasi bagi seluruh kompleks itu. Lokasi ini menjadi tempat kematian sekitar 70.000 orang Polandia, kaum homos...more
Lucy
Written in the voice of Bruno, a nine year-old boy whose father is promoted up the Nazi chain of command and given the position as director of Auschwitz, a Polish concentration camp, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas exposes the well-documented horrors of gas chambers, crematoriums, savage beatings and starvation through eyes that have no comprehension of this kind of evil. Instead, when he meets Schmel, a Jewish boy his own age sitting on the other side of a fence, he sees a potential playmate who...more
Connie
John Boyne has written a fable about the Holocaust written in simple language appropriate for a young adult book. The story is seen through the eyes of a sheltered nine-year-old boy, Bruno. His family has moved from Berlin to Poland where his father has been appointed the Commandant at "Out-With" by the "Fury." Bruno looks out his bedroom window and sees men and boys in striped pajamas beyond a barbed wire fence which the reader assumes is Auschwitz. When he goes out exploring, Bruno meets Shmue...more
Maree
Holocaust dramas are always gut-wrenchingly sad and John Boyne's The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is no exception, but what makes the sadness of this novel sting long after the final page is turned is the fact that, while it still displays some of the darkest days in human history, it is shown through the wide, blue eyes of an innocent eight-year-old German boy, named Bruno.

The novel follows Bruno and his family as they move from a secure and wealthy life in Berlin to the forlorn and desolate Pol...more
Beth
I would love to teach this book in my literature class in pairing with studying WWII in social studies. This is the story of Bruno, a naive, 9-year-old boy whose father is a high-ranking Nazi commander at Auschwitz. Bruno befriends a boy on the other side of the fence, but he never understands why they can't play together. While this book is not meant to be historically accurate, it still can incite wonderful discussion in a classroom full of older students. No one would ever anticipate the way...more
Endah
Kesalahan pertama saya dalam membaca buku ini adalah mengira bahwa buku ini sebuah buku cerita anak-anak yang lucu dan jenaka. Asumsi ini saya tafsirkan dari judulnya : Anak Lelaki Berpiama Garis-Garis. Terdengar lucu dan riang. Kesalahan kedua, saya, seperti biasa, melewatkan membaca sinopsisnya yang tercantum di sampul belakang buku. Seandainya saya mau menyempatkan diri membacanya terlebih dahulu, barangkali saya tak akan terkecoh.


Terkecoh? Ya, sebab kiranya buku tipis dengan ukuran font besa...more
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7195
John Boyne (born 30 April 1971 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist.

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. But it was during his time at Trinity that he began to get published. To pay his way at that stage of his career, he worked at Waterstone's, typing up his drafts by night.

John Boyne is...more
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“Sitting around miserable all day won't make you any happier.” 271 likes
“...Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.” 155 likes
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