Michele's Reviews > The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
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's review
Apr 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-readers, holocaust, film-adaptations-exist, historical-fiction, male-protagonist, ya
Read in August, 2009

I had already read this book once before, but the second reading was just as good as the first. I really enjoy the style of the writing. I think the descriptions and imagery are simple and fabulous. I think there are many points of the style that can be explored in the metaphors and language and repetition.
I think that this book would be most interesting to read with students a few years older than Bruno. I really like the way that we get to see things through Bruno's eyes. I think it would be great for students to be able to identify and recognize things that Bruno did not understand or misinterpreted. I feel like that aspect of the novel really gives readers a sense of accomplishment and ownership about their knowledge of Nazi Germany and the holocaust. This is obviously a book that must be paired with a great deal of background knowledge and research to fully understand everything that Bruno is seeing and hearing. This book is basically crafted for use in a classroom.
I also think that most of the characters are fairly complex, even the minor ones. Everyone is given a story and a personality that shows them as more than just "good" or "evil." The story is wonderfully simple without minimizing any issues.
After reading the Hitler Youth book though, the one thing that I found to be a little unbelievable was some of Bruno's naivete. Of course, without his ignorance the story could not exist. It seems that boys his age would normally be highly involved in a Hitler Youth program and certainly know who the "Fury" was- even if he was pronouncing it wrong.

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