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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  12,422 ratings  ·  1,629 reviews
When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Doubleday Childrens (first published September 24th 2015)
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Jschroder I use this book with my 7th graders for a Historical Fiction unit. I don't just give it to them and let them read it, however. We have a lot of instru…moreI use this book with my 7th graders for a Historical Fiction unit. I don't just give it to them and let them read it, however. We have a lot of instruction that includes time period, WWI,WWII, propaganda, etc. They absolutely love this book and beg to keep reading when I stop them at the end of each section.(less)
Ruyman_S In my opinion, we cannot compare both books, because they are written from different points of view. Both are cruel, but the former book is more scare…moreIn my opinion, we cannot compare both books, because they are written from different points of view. Both are cruel, but the former book is more scareful than the second. I saw the consequences of the power of Hitler.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  12,422 ratings  ·  1,629 reviews

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Feb 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is an unfortunate book, and I regret buying it for my son as a complement to a class novel he recently read in school, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Spending some time reading it myself now, after seeing the strange perception of history my son developed reading the above-mentioned Holocaust "fable" in school, I have decided I won't let him read this until he is old enough to discern the blatant mistakes, idiotic language, voyeuristic sensationalism, namedropping and Disneyfication of a ti
Oh boy......THE BOY AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN......really surprised me.

1936 - Pierrot is such a good age seven, he doesn't even know the meaning of the word prejudice or hatred with a French mom, German pop and Jewish best buddy, but life as he knows it is soon turned upside down when he is orphaned and finds himself traveling alone by train from Paris to Austria to live with an aunt he has never met.

Meeting up with bullies....both young and old along the way....a naive Pierrot finds

Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some things we do as a child we are proud of. Some things we do as a child we are ashamed of. Can we learn as we grow to cover the shame and only remember the good, or are we destined to bring that shame along with us until the end of our days?

Pierrot is a young boy whose mother is French and his dad is German. Torn between the two cultures still in the throes of the recovery after The Great War, Pierrot finds himself with a father who drinks to excess filled with anger over Germany's loss in WW
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The only reason I picked this book was because it was written by John Boyne, who stole my heart this year with 3 terrific books.
I had no idea what this book was about. I went blind. I did not read the synopsis or reviews.
And I was amazed!
The writing is terrific!
This man knows how to write a drama.
The storyline is great.
At the second part of the book is when I discovered that the main character (an orphan and a lovable 7 years old boy), is sent to live with his aunt, who just happens to work f
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: war, ww2

John Boyne author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas returns with another children's novel set during The Second World War. The story is about a boy called Pierrot an orphan who must leave his home in Paris and travel to Germany to live with his Aunt Beatrix who is a servant in a house calll the Berghof at the top of a mountain.

John Boyne is a wonderful adult and Children's writter. In this Novel he tells the story the of the corruption of Innonence and the horrors of war that children can get ca
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very moving story about a boy who meets Hitler in person. And is influenced by Hitler's thoughts and actions. Incredibly well told!
Rita Araújo
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Just don't ever tell yourself that you didn't know.... That would be the worst crime of all.”
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You know why people wear uniforms, don't you, Pierrot?' continued the chauffeur. The boy shook his head. "Because a person who wears one believes he can do anything he likes. He can treat others in a way he never would while wearing normal clothes. Collars, trench coats, or jackboots, uniforms allow us to exercise our cruelty without ever feeling guilt." (93)

"Do you think they are good Germans?" he asked her then. "No, that's not a sensible question. I suppose that would depend on how you defin
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A short novel but intriguing and disturbing in equal measures.
Forget the links to Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as this is quite a different book all together , while it is set in WW2 and has the Fuhrer , the main character is very different and the book has a bit more meat to it than the simpler fable of The Boy in the striped Pyjamas. This is definitely a good thing. The predecessor is a brilliant book but trying to replicate it wouldn't have worked nearly as well.
The main character here is Pierr

I’ve yet to read a John Boyne novel and be disappointed.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Cognitive dissonance, my old friend.

I really hated this book but at the same time I literally could not put it down. From the very beginning I had a gut feeling it was going to make me sad. But it also made me angry. Experiencing those conflicting emotions simultaneously made me uncomfortable and I think that is, simply put, what makes Boyne's writing so compelling.

He writes about the human condition with such audacity and incisiveness, yet its also clever and engrossing. In this case we have Pi
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
4.5/5 stars

John Boyne is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a book that showed the horror of concentration camps through the eyes of a child. In this new novel, Boyne has written a story in a similar vein (this time with more grit/violence) that shows the innocence and naiveté of childhood and how easily it can be corrupted.

This is a short novel (220-ish pages) but it's packed with a lot of food for thought as it tackles some serious issues. While this book is written for a youth audi
I finally picked up my first book by John Boyne and now I understand what everyone's talking about.
I was always interested in history and WWII fascinated me in a horrible kind of way because I could never understand how almost a whole country, my country, could follow and believe a maniac and psychopath.
This is a story about WWII but more about the people and how they changed, what they did. And John Boyne has a extraordinary talent to capture people and their development in certain situations
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I’d had my sights on this one for a while, as A History of Loneliness by John Boyne ranks high among my favorites. The Boy on the Mountain is a young adult book, and, though a bit simplistic, it paints an unsettling picture. The story centers on a young orphan who is sent to live with his aunt, a servant in Hitler’s household. Thus begins a subtle erosion of personal values as well as an ebbing of integrity wrought by the protagonist Perriot’s association with Hitler and his insane, distorted wo ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed John Boyne’s other novel ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ so I decided to pick this up to see if he could surprise me with another great WW2 story again.

Set in Paris, year 1936, this story follows Pierrot, a 6 year old child of a French mother and a German father. After they both die, he is sent to live with his aunt in Germany, who is a housekeeper for Hitler at his mountain top ‘retreat’ home.

The evolution of Pierrot throughout this novel is both scary and amusing to read abo
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have had this book waiting in the tbr pile for ages. I should have read it much sooner. I really enjoyed this take on a war story. Poor Pierrot, so nieve, such a tragic start in life, his father run over by a train and then his beloved mother dies of consumption. His only friend is the little boy downstairs but his family cannot afford to take Pierrot in and so he is sent off to an orphanage. It is all pretty awful for him. Then, via a traumatic train journey, he ends up in Hitler's Berghaus o ...more
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
In the eve of IIWW and after his father, a drunken German soldier, is killed by a train, his French mother dies of consumption, orphaned Pierrot passes from place to place like a parcel, until he is eventually taken in by his aunt, a housekeeper in Austria.Seven-year-old Pierrot finds himself in a large mountain retreat where the staff are terrified of the approach of “the master”. Adult readers will soon realise that the house is Hitler’s Berghof. There Pierrot must forget his French self,the b ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
{ actual rating: 4.5 stars }
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain was a disturbing yet beautiful read that explored the loss of childhood and innocence so well it gave me shivers!

John Boyne, the author, has a way with words that allows him to describe events by the point of view of his characters so well, and his books are worth reading just because of this. For example, instead of saying the seven year old main character, Pierrot, observed a swastika on the bands of boys in uniform, he'll say th
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Boy at the Top of the Mountain" is an incredible and emotional story about a 8 year old boy spending 8 years of his life in Adolf Hitlers mansion. Pierrot, the protagonist, becomes an orphan when his dad dies from being run over by a train, and his mom dies from a severe disease. He has no where to go until one day, his aunt, a maid at the mansion, tells him to come live with her. Throughout his stay there, he changes from an innocent, cheerful boy to a harmful and serious teenager who has ...more
After reading " The boy in the stripped pyjama ", I was looking forward to reading this book by the same author in school. I really did enjoy this story, mainly because WW 2 interests me a lot (living and having grown up in Germany), and I thought that it was a great example of how a child like Pierrot would have felt having someone as important as Hitler at the time take interest in him and make him feel important. It gives you a perspective of the Hitler-Jugend and makes you understand it bett ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
The worst example of pure crap I have ever read. Pretending to be historical. Pretending to teach something about the worst dictator ever to be born. Pretending a Jew who lost everything to Hitler could kindly take a german who had abandoned Ed him, into his home to tell his story. As if he were any different from the millions of Germans who adored and paid homage to their leader. Oh right, when it was o we they were sorry? Dialogue that reads like dropped blocks. Ridiculous plot twists. Prepost ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sent-for-review
This book was amazing. I highly recommend it if you're interested in WWII or if you liked The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (even though this book is nothing like that apart from the WWII links). Click here for my full review on my blog. ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-ii

“Just don't ever tell yourself that you didn't know.... That would be the worst crime of all.”

Great book...

This story helps to understand a little, the reason why so many people followed Hitler so blindly ...
Joaquin Mejia
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
My school required me to read this. I was initially glad that this book that my classmates and I have to read is a book for younger readers. That would mean that it is a book that is easy to read. But for some reason, I found this tedious to get through. I don't know whether it was because of the other school requirements were on my mind or the simple fact that it was a school-required book. I still enjoyed reading it though.

The book is a historical fiction story that takes place during World Wa
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Review soon
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a clever story with a strong attempt at turning a good protagonist into a not-good person. I'm not sure it was completely successful but I still took the emotional journey with the lead character and I enjoyed it. The writing is very good, at times witty. Some of it was a little cheeky, such as the appearance of a childhood book at punctuating moments. Still, I liked the book very much and I appreciate the ambition of it.
Lone Matz
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a very emotional Story. I just love the way Boyne writes, he has a certain way with words that goes straight to the heart.
John Boyne is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which is an excellent book so I was excited to read this one. In my opinion, this book wasn't as good as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

The character in this book is not very likeable. The story follows a young book who moves from France to live with his aunt who works in Hitler's home. As the novel progresses we see Pierrot change from an innocent child to someone that craves power and acts cruelly to those around him. Although I didn'
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
have to admit really enjoyed this book based in pre war paris and southern germany/austria where an orphan pierrot goes to live with his aunt beatrix and she is the housekeeper in hitlers berghof and this sets off the change from innocence to the horrors of what a person can become as they get dragged into something evil as pieter as he becomes gets more influence by hitler and the isolated location and how he gets afar away from reality. then the realisation later of what has happened and the g ...more
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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 won the Curtis Brown prize. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.

John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories.

His novel

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