Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Published: 2007
By: Ember
Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
ISBN:  9780385751537

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

– Goodreads


Although I thought the story itself was simple in nature;  a lot of repetition, but I eventually realized the purpose of all this repetition was the fact that the message was of a young boy, raised by a strict military father who expected everything to be in perfect order, would’ve probably drilled these things into the child.

In the book, Bruno and his family are forced to move from Berlin to a military home on the outskirts of a camp, I originally didn’t realize that “Out-With” which was what Bruno called it because had trouble pronouncing the real word: Auchwitz. I laughed at myself. I figured out when Bruno said “Fury” he meant Fuehrer. It’s petty, really, but made a difference in the way I read it.

Historical fiction gives me an eery feeling after I read it; a cold chill. This book left me with the same feeling like Bruno did after he lied about not knowing Shmuel, the young Jewish boy that he met while exploring the forest surrounding his 3-storey home, to the Lieutenant Kotler when he caught the two boys talking during a single-period that Kotler had brought Shmuel from the camp to polish tiny sherry glasses.

A small book with a powerful punch. From start to finish. You may potentially get annoyed with Bruno and his slight ignorance of what was actually happening around him, but if you really think about it: How many six-year-olds really knew what they were doing when they poised their arm in the air and yell  “Heil Hitler” to passing soldiers?

4 Star signature


About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
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5 Responses to Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

  1. piarve says:

    I’ve been recommended to watch the film, apparently its real goo, but I think I might just read the book first. Thanks for the review =)

    • Aw thank you! Yes, the book is definitely a MUST. I had a friend who had read the book years ago and I offered to lend her the movie and after she saw it the two were very different, but it also contained a lot more detail than the book couldn’t allowed for. Enjoy 🙂

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