The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

Arlette Gaffrey: I was blessed not to have grown up in Nazi Germany in the 1940s. But I was 11 years old when we entered the war. We often heard stories about the horrors that were being leveled against the Jewish people all over Europe, so I have no idea if Bruno was incredibley naive or if that was even possible. But I couldn't put this book down from the moment I started reading it until I finished it in one day.

A little nine-year-old boy named Bruno is shocked to come home from school to see the family maid packing up his things in big boxes. Bruno has no idea what is happening until his mother tells him that his father has been promoted and is being sent to a new place where they would all live. Bruno, his sister who he refers to as the Hopeless Case, his mother and father, even the servants. When they get to their new home Bruno hates it because there are no other children to play with and not much to do since there is no town, only a strange looking place that is surrounded by barbed-wire. He can see people standing around and they all seem to be wearing striped pajamas.

One day in a fit of boredom Bruno decides to go exploring. He walks for quite a while when suddenly he sees something in the distance, as it gets closer he realizes it is a little boy like him, only much too thin. The little boy is named Samuel. Soon the two little boys become friends. Yhey meet every day in the same spot. One on the free side of the fence the other on the restricted side of the fence. Their friendship gives them both comfort. Bruno because he finally has a friend his own age who he can talk to, and the little boy in the stiped pajamas because Bruno is the first young person he has been able to befriend. One day Bruno learns that Samuel's papa is missing and Samuel has no idea where he is. Bruno convinces Samuel to get him a pair of stiped pajamas so he can get into the camp and help Samuel find his papa. Samuel brings Bruno the pajamas and Bruno slips under the wire and enters the camp with Samuel. This is all so strange for the child that after awhile he decides he wants to go home. Read the book if you want to know how it ends.
Rating: *****

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