Brittany Young's Reviews > The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
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Oct 18, 2011

it was amazing

This is hands down the best Historical Fiction book I have ever read. I love reading books, true and fictional, about the Holocaust, and I had high expectations going into this novel. I was definitely not disappointed. I absolutely loved it. This is such an emotionally charged book, and the ending broke my heart. Telling the story from Bruno’s point of view gave the book multiple dimensions. He was such an innocent child, witnessing one of the most terrible tragedies that have ever occurred on our earth, and he has no idea. It was fascinating to have to make my own connections based on what I already knew about the Holocaust. I had to figure out what “out-with”, “Fury”, and “the word that made me feel uncomfortable” meant. I had to connect Bruno’s father with the Nazis, and the man who came to dinner as Hitler. Making these discoveries on my own made it more emotional, because I was realizing what Bruno was too pure to understand. The theme of equality and friendship are absolutely key to understanding this book, and are expressed so well through Bruno and Schmuel’s friendship. When they die together in the end, I almost cried. I couldn’t help myself. Because the reader has to make their own connections in the book, and it deals with serious and dark subject matter, this is not a book for young or immature children. It would work best in a middle school or high school classroom. It could accompany the curriculum covering WWII or the Holocaust on many levels. Students could discuss how the Holocaust affected children on both sides, adults on both sides, and their family members. The book paints a good picture of what it was like to be in Nazi Germany at that time. I absolutely loved this book and would definitely recommend it to a teacher.

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