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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Paperback – Jan 5 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (Jan. 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385610319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385610315
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.7 x 20 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,169,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–John Boyne's novel (David Fickling books, 2006) is a harrowing Holocaust story with an excruciating ending. It is told through the eyes of nine-year-old Bruno, whose family moves from Berlin after his father gets a promotion to Commandant. When the family arrives at their new home, Bruno is disheartened. The new place, which the boy calls Out-With, is desolate, with a large camp on the other side of a big fence, behind which all of the people, except the soldiers, wear gray-striped pajamas. After starting classes with a tutor, who advocates history over art, Bruno explores his new surroundings and meets Shmuel who is living in the fenced-in area. Bruno never quite grasps why his new friend is behind the fence, but he knows that he should keep quiet about their visits. Only mature listeners with knowledge of World War II and Hitler's final solution will be able to interpret what the author unveils slowly (there is no mention of a war going on or the ability to get news from the radio or newspapers). Still, the novel will certainly augment the study of this period in history. There is the added bonus of an interview with the author and his editor at the end of the recording. With the eager urgency and excitement of the young protagonist, Michael Maloney reads with a British accent, using various voices for the many characters. Sometimes he drops the ends of words, which can be distracting. Haunting music between chapters adds to the suspense. A unique addition to Holocaust literature.–Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Some of the most thought-provoking Holocaust books are about bystanders, including those who say they did not know what was happening. This first novel tells the bystander story from the viewpoint of an innocent child. Bruno is nine when his family moves from their luxurious Berlin home to the country, where "the Fury" has appointed Bruno's father commandant. Lost and lonely, the child hates the upheaval, while his stern but kind father celebrates his success because he has learned to follow orders. Bruno can see a concentration camp in the distance, but he has no idea what is going on, even when he eventually meets and makes friends with Shmuel, a boy from Cracow, who lives on the other side of the camp fence. The boys meet every day. They even discover that they have the same birthday. It's all part of a poignant construct: Shmuel is Bruno's alternative self, and as the story builds to a horrifying climax, the innocent's experience brings home the unimaginable horror. Pair this with Anne Frank's classic diary and Anita Lobel's No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War (1998). Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Q: Book Addict TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Feb. 26 2008
Format: Paperback
Words cannot describe how amazing this book is. A short read, but it has a huge impact on the reader. I had to read the ending twice, because I just couldn't believe it. I was shocked, and stunned. It should be a compulsory read, especially for young adults. This book should go hand and hand with "Night" by Eli Weisel. I wish I could give in 10 stars because it really deserves it. My local book store has it on the "16 books you should read before you die" list. Honestly, you want a fast read that is simply amazing...GO BUY THIS BOOK!
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 15 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an unforgettable and a small wonder of a book. A Holocaust drama that explores the horror of WW11 seen through the eyes of Bruno, the eight year old son of the commandant at a concentration camp called “Out With” and of a Jewish inmate of the same age called Shmuel.

The strength is in the narrative which mires the preoccupations of child’s curiosity and interest in the high-wired compound inhabited by sad people in striped pyjamas. It is an effortless read that puts us directly into Bruno’s and Shmuel’s worldview.

Bruno is an explorer by heart and after doing so around the house he decides to do some of the area. After an hour or so he discovers Shmuel, a boy behind the fence in the camp. They start to talk about their life and every day they meet at the same spot. Till one day, Shmuel’s father goes missing and Bruno wants to help his friend find him. He changes into the striped pyjamas, climbs under the fence and explores Shmuel’s world……

This fabrication of the author’s imagination is elegantly written and very moving. Although not particularly graphic or dark it will nevertheless leave a deep impact in any reader’s minds. Mr. Boyne is a master in depicting the setting and capturing the character’s emotions. The style is meant for the eyes of Young people therefore it may seem a bit simplistic for grown-ups, so with this in mind be prepare to read a sanitised version of the period, one with little historical significance and enjoy it for what it is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on Aug. 25 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 realities of Hilter and his reign of terror.

Life in the country is dull and boring for Bruno. He doesn't understand his new home, "Out-With." He's left his friends behind and doesn't like the smaller house he's forced to live in with his parents and his sister. Missing the hustle and bustle of the city, Bruno begins to explore his new surroundings. Beyond the fence near his house, he sees people, but is confused by their strange striped pajamas and their sad demeanor.

Bruno's loneliness is somewhat relieved when he becomes friends with a boy on the other side of the fence. They meet daily and exchange comments about their daily lives, but neither fully understands the circumstances of the other.

Boyne presents a story about the Holocaust like none other before. He brings tragedy to life through the eyes of innocent children. Readers of all ages will be spellbound until the last page and beyond.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hookedonbooks on Aug. 8 2006
Format: Paperback
I reommend this book highly. It should be compulsory reading for everyone. A poignant story of a nine year old boy whose father is the commandant for the German army and lives next to the concentration camp, but doesn't really know what it is or what his father's real job is. He meets a boy the same age from the concentration camp and is a heartrending story of their friendship and family situations.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By yermither on Jan. 14 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a fiction book geared towards 9- to 12-year-olds. The reader gradually learns who the hero of the book is, through his recalling recent events in his family's move from Berlin to "Out-With".The plot is fairly interesting and the character development not too bad. The author should have continuously reminded himself, though, that he should be speaking and thinking like a 9-year-old. Too many times he puts words and thoughts into little Bruno's mouth and head that no 9-year-old would have in his vocabulary. And so many of the expressions are British/Irish, not German. Like telling his friend to put on a "jumper" when he is cold. The book needs a good editing, to remove these kinds of inaccuracies. There was also puerile use of repetition. I thought I would close the book at one point if the author used the phrase "Hopeless Case" one more time to refer to Bruno's older sister, or the description of his father's office as being "Out of Bounds At All Times And No Exceptions". What is the point of all this capitalization? Is he trying to sound like A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh"? I realize it is difficult to come down to a child's level when trying to teach something as horrible as the Holocaust, and the author tried. I much preferred books by Carol Matas (Lisa's War, After the War), Lois Lowry (Number the Stars) for fictional accounts, and such ones as Daniel's Story for non-fiction.
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