Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Though he doesn’t fully understand what is going on around him, Bruno’s new friend in the striped hat and pajamas helps nine-year-old Bruno get though his new life. In the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, the large fence outside of Bruno’s house always separates Bruno from his only friend Shmuel and all of the other mysterious, cheerless looking people on the other side of that fence. Bruno does not realize that what is going on around him is the Holocaust. Though Bruno and Shmuel talked every day, always with that eerie fence between them, Bruno never fully understands how horrible a thing is going on right outside his house. The shocking ending of this moving book will help you realize just a little more how horrific the Holocaust was.

This story is not suspenseful or action-filled, but something special about it grips you and makes it so you just have to keep reading. Bruno, in his na├»ve state of mind, is the reason this story has such an impact. He is only nine years old and does not understand exactly what horrible things are happening during the Holocaust. That is what made this book so interesting. Though Bruno’s viewpoint is the foundation of what made The Boy in the Striped Pajamas have such an effect, Bruno annoyed me at some points. He was just a nine-year-old though so it’s understandable. Bruno had no idea what was going on around him, or even how to pronounce the names of the horrible things having to do with the Holocaust, so it told the story from a different, yet interesting, vantage point. This shocking, but compelling story is definitely worth reading.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairview Heights, Illinois USA