The ft high barbed wire fence surrounding each camp was electrified. Along the way he learns he is Jewish and that they are being kept 'separated' but he doesn't understand why.
This is a book note for teens or adults to be able to understand what is happening in this story. It has a Readers Guide in the back with disc Selected Other Works by John Boyne.
Teacher's Guide - printed out from the Perma-Bound website, which provides the following This hardcover book is in very good condition. There are no ripped, torn, c The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. All are very readable — no torn pages, covers, or writing on the books. There are no duplicate stories in this set. 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.
His father has received a promotion and the family Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previo The book is in great reading condition.
There is obvious wear on the outside of the book because of use as shown in the pictures uploaded. Book looks fantastic though! His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do.
A tall fence stretches as far as They are not actual photos of the physical item for sale and should not be relied upon as a basis for edition or condition. Definitely an unforgettable read, nonetheless! View all 19 comments. Jun 20, Peter rated it did not like it.
This book is so ignorant of historical facts about concentration camps that it kicks the history of the Holocaust right in the teeth. John Boyne's premise is that the nine-year old son of the commandant of Auschwitz, bored with his isolated life, takes walks to the fence s "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" would easily top my list of "Worst Books about the Holocaust. John Boyne's premise is that the nine-year old son of the commandant of Auschwitz, bored with his isolated life, takes walks to the fence surrounding this infamous camp and meets there a nine-year old inmate who is on the other side of the fence.
The two boys become friends and continue meeting on a daily basis. Here is some news for Mr. The ft high barbed wire fence surrounding each camp was electrified. Touch if once and you are fried. There was a no-man's land on each side of the fence; along the inside perimeter of the fence were guard towers; each tower was manned by an armed guard around the clock; each guard was responsible for one segment of the fence within his vision; it was his duty to prevent anyone from approaching the fence, either from the inside, or from the outside; he was under orders to shoot anyone he saw approaching the no-man's-land.
Let me add this. A nine-year-old boy arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau on a cattle train would take only a single walk in this camp: It is a fantasy that does untold damage to the cause of truth about the Holocaust. This book has only one purpose: And this purpose it accomplishes. The publisher recently proudly trumpeted in an ad in the New York Times: And that's not even counting the profits from the revolting movie based on this book. These camps were about brutality, starvation, and sheer terror.
Feb 13, Madeline rated it did not like it Shelves: As Michael Kors once sighed to a clueless designer on Project Runway: Where do I start? Let's open with some descriptive words that sum up this book, and I will then go on to explain them in further detail: I believe that to write good children's literature, you have to think that children are intelligent, capable human beings who are worth writing for - like Stephen King, who probably thinks kids are smarter than adults.
The author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas , on the other hand, clearly thinks that children are idiots. The main character, Bruno, is supposed to be nine years old, but compared to him Danny Torrance of The Shining who was six looks like a Mensa member. There's childlike naivety, and then there's Bruno, who is so stunningly unobservant and unperceptive that I actually started to wonder if he was supposed to be mentally deficient somehow.
And he's not the only child who receives Boyne's withering scorn and condescension. Take this scene between Bruno and his sister Gretel, when they've just moved to their house at "Out-With" as Bruno insists on calling it, despite being corrected many times and seeing the name written down and are wondering how long they're going to stay there. Bruno's father, a commandant in charge of the camp, has told the kids that they'll be there "for the foreseeable future" and Bruno doesn't know what that means.
See what I meant about Boyne thinking kids are morons? It's meant for adults who know about the Holocaust already, so they can read it and sigh over the precious innocent widdle children's adorable misunderstanding of the horrible events surrounding them and how they still remain innocent and uuuuuuggggggghhhhh.
There's a scene towards the end, where Bruno puts on a pair of the "striped pajamas" so he can visit his friend on the other side of the fence. Bruno has had lice, so his head is shaved. When he puts on the pajamas, the Jewish boy observes him and the narration commits the following Hallmark-worthy atrocity: It was almost Shmuel thought as if they were all exactly the same really. This book is, technically, historic fiction, but I'm not putting it on my history shelf, because there is nothing historical in this book.
Bruno is supposed to have grown up in Nazi Germany, the son of a high ranking SS officer, but based on his knowledge of everything, he's spent his entire nine years sitting inside with his eyes shut humming loudly while covering his ears.
Okay, I get that he wouldn't know about the concentration camps - hardly anyone did at that point. But there are other things: Bruno consistently and adorably! Jews, Fatherland, Heil Hitler. Okay, so maybe this kid's too young to be in Hitler Youth his sister isn't though, but for some reason she's not in it either , but come on - he thinks "Heil Hitler" is just a polite way to end a conversation.
A nine-year-old boy growing up in a military household in Nazi Germany doesn't know what Heil Hitler means. All of this comes back to my original thesis: John Boyne thinks that children are idiots. Go cash your checks for that awful movie adaptation they did of this book and never try to make a statement about anything ever again, please. Social Justice in Young Adult Literature View all 91 comments. Found this in a charity shop and couldn't put it down.
Had no idea it would end how it did. View all 16 comments. Feb 06, Wayne rated it did not like it Recommended to Wayne by: I'm too kind to say. I seriously suggest you read about what happened to real children in the Holocaust. It won't fill your thoughts for many days or shock you; rather it will fill your LIFE and make you feel sick to the core of your being.
Paul Friedlander, himself a survivor, recounts in his recent highly praised book the incident of 90 Jewish infants all under the age of five, orphaned after their parents were murdered in a mass shooting.
These children were subjected to indescribable mistreatment for days. Then the I seriously suggest you read about what happened to real children in the Holocaust. Then they were individually hanged. I read this with horror, revulsion and total disbelief. The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, - Or the incident of the young German soldier participating in the evacuation of the patients in the hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto.
In the presence of a distraught Jewish crowd of relatives and onlookers, patients were being thrown onto the backs of trucks. The babies were being thrown from the upper windows. The soldier requested and was given permission to catch the falling babies on his bayonet.
ISBN 0 00 9 There are so many historical inaccuracies and ludicrous details in this totally implausible story of Boyne's eg. Bruno's ignorance of basics, impossible when he would have been in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi education system. This travesty of the Holocaust is called a 'fable' as if with all its faults, it has special claim on some gravitas, thus giving Boyne justification for this lame expose of racism.
I was a member of the Jewish Holocaust Committee here in Sydney for a while and once had to endure a young rabbi lecturing on how the Holocaust was God's punishment on the Jews.
So there are fools to be found inside the club as well as outside it. Not a single pure ethnic German child entered a gas chamber as part of the extermination of the Jews When protests brought this program to a close the same staff were later sent to operate the gas chambers in the camps. And for six million Jewish men, women and children there was no saviour.
This bitter pill is too much for some people to swallow. Some, like the young rabbi, takes refuge in blaming the very victims; others find refuge in sentimental fiction such as Boyne's which does no honour to these tragic, lost people. And today there are perverse forces abroad, from renowned historians to Catholic bishops, who would deny that the Holocaust ever took place or to an extraordinary lesser degree.
They use every discrepancy of detail as well as lies to justify their denial. There is an overwhelming library of rivetting, emotional, inspiring and tragic Holocaust stories out there - all factual, which you may have already plunged into.
Boyne may even have led you there. But finally Boyne just deserves to fade away. The Oscar winning Foreign Language film of , "Life is Beautiful", was also, not surprisingly, referred to as a 'fable'. It also is an implausible piece of Holocaust sentimentality and a stampede away from having to swallow the bitter pill of reality.
View all 36 comments. A powerful concept, but very poorly written even allowing for the young adult target audience - and one of a tiny number of books I can think of that was better in the film version. Plot Bruno is 9 and lives in Berlin in with his parents and 12 year old sister.
They are wealthy and his father is an important soldier who is promoted to be the Commandant at Auschwitz. The trick of the story is that Bruno doesn't realise the horror of what goes on behind the barbed wire, where everyone wears s A powerful concept, but very poorly written even allowing for the young adult target audience - and one of a tiny number of books I can think of that was better in the film version.
The trick of the story is that Bruno doesn't realise the horror of what goes on behind the barbed wire, where everyone wears striped pyjamas, even when he befriends a boy of the same age at a corner of the camp. Although his father can be strict and distant, Bruno is unfailing in his trust in the goodness of his father. In the film, there was at least a gradual, if reluctant, dawning of doubt about his father and all he stood for, but that doesn't happen in the book; the themes of family, friendship and trust are barely touched on.
Implausible Ignorance The main problem is that it's told from Bruno's viewpoint, and he is ridiculously naive and ignorant for the son of a senior Nazi. Not knowing, and not wanting to know, the horror of what was happening is entirely understandable especially when a parent is involved. However, he hasn't heard of "the Fatherland", thinks the Fuhrer is called The Fury throughout , that Auschwitz is called "Out With" and that "Heil Hitler" means "goodbye"!
Yet we're meant to believe that he's the 9 year old son of a senior Nazi! His father had clearly been neglecting his duty to train the next generation of Hitler youth. And anyway, the puns wouldn't work in German.
What is even more insulting to readers is that Boyne has responded to this widespread point of criticism by saying that anyone who thinks the boy is too naive is denying the holocaust!
Maybedog comment on Oct 02, and subsequent ones. And it's leaking", and a nasty person who "always looked as if he wanted to cut someone out of his will". It might have worked better if Bruno had been 5 or 6, but I suppose the target audience would have been less willing to read it, so the result is a book that isn't really suitable for any age group.
Postscript 1 Arising from Kelly Hawkins' review: When he goes to the fence, and when he asks that question, he is kind of representing the rest of us who are trying to understand the Holocaust and find some answers to it.
Also, when the camps were liberated, the world was surprised through and The majority of the Holocaust had taken place over four years and, granted, it was a different information age but I still maintain that in those sorts of movies, the naivety is appropriate.
Elsewhere, he is quoted as saying that naivety and complacency were two of the main reasons the Holocaust occurred http: I find that a very unsatisfying defence. It answers why people don't want to know the horrors which I fully acknowledge , but does not begin to tackle Bruno's specific ignorance of common words related to the Third Reich.
Postscript 2, October His new book has a similar title and another Nazi theme - with Hitler himself this time: The Boy at the Top of the Mountain. I won't be reading that, but I suspect it will cause similar controversy. Postscript 3 See this excellent review by a survivor of Nazi concentration camps.
Boyne posting as John responded to some of the criticisms: Postscript 4, 14 May In today's Sunday Times, the Prime Minister Theresa May was asked by a year old in her constituency, "Has your thinking ever changed because of a novel?
It is a very, very cleverly written book and a very well-written book, and what it brings home is the absolute horror of the Holocaust. Dec 01, Arlene rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is truly an amazing yet daunting novel that I will never forget. The author John Boyne did a masterful job of depicting the setting in such vivid detail and exposing the events in a manner that I felt a constant emotional pull as the story unfolded and impending doom lingered on the horizon.
I feel the author did a grand job of juxtaposing two resounding themes in such a flawless manner; one being of the evil that was the Holocaust; against the second theme that of the innocence of a child. I thought it was brilliant of Boyne to tell the story from the perspective of a nine year old German boy as you experience the events of this abominable and unthinkable time in history as a mere complicit bystander, which ultimately leaves you with a sense of hopelessness.
The story unfolds the day Bruno arrives home to discover his family is moving from Berlin to Auschwitz where his father will serve as a Commandant for the concentration camp. Bruno is forced to leave his three best friends for life and discovers that life in Auschwitz is lonely and desolate. All that changes the day he meets a boy his exact age and they begin to forge a friendship over the course of year. However, as much as he finds he and Schmuel have in common, living on opposite sides of the fence proves to have a devastating consequence to their friendship.
After completing this book, I did some research on the author and the novel and found that he not only received well deserved praise for this book, but also harsh criticism. As with any piece of literature, when words are committed to page and presented to an audience for their interpretation there will be varying degrees of acceptance and backlash.
Well, my hats off to John Boyne for tackling a story through a unique perspective and presenting a poignant fable that as a reader I willingly suspended my reality and experienced the events in a way that exposed my emotions and feelings to such a raw level. View all 68 comments. Nov 14, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: When I was very young, I lived in Romania. Because there was past drama in my family, I had three grandmothers and two grandfathers. I was close to two of my grandmothers and one of my grandfathers, because they lived near my mother, brother, stepfather and I.
The other couple, I only saw during summers. They lived in the country, where there was no indoor bathroom, no internet, no chocolate and no sense of community that I felt at the age of six. Every morning, I would wake up from the best of dreams: But she never did, because she was far away and we had to stay for three whole months with our grandparents.
I had no one to play with. One day, I met a little girl. I was so happy that I immediately invited her to our house. We played for a while, and it was wonderful. I had a friend. When my grandfather woke up from his nap and saw me playing with this girl, he was so angry I thought he would hurt her. He shooed her away forcefully. I was six, what did I care that she had a darker skin colour, spoke another language entirely and prayed to different gods?
It made me so mad, I became a lion. I roared at him, and roared until I had no more voice. Then I cried, because there was nothing else I could have done as a very young child. She was too scared of my grandfather to talk to me again. There was a huge wall between our houses and I could see nothing of what was happening on their side, so I never saw her again either. I understand the loneliness Bruno felt all too well.
View all 18 comments. An archaic reference in the publishing industry to the notion that the way to ensure a book is a bestseller is to write about Lincoln, dogs, or doctors. So the sure-fire formula for creating a bestseller is to write a story Lincoln's doctor's dog.
When I review a book, I look at both the medium and the content. Sometimes, you will find a great story which is badly written: Sometimes you have both, and the book becomes really enjoyable. And when the medium and the content are so aptly intertwined to be inseparable, you have a truly great book.
Very rarely, you have the misfortune to encounter a really abominable story which is abysmally written into the bargain — this happened to me with this book. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is a very fast read. Now for the analysis. The Background This book is historical fiction yes, yes, I know that the author has claimed it is a fable situated in the time of the Holocaust: Auschwitz, according to my knowledge, had no children — they were sent to gas chambers the moment they arrived.
Yet here we have a camp which is literally crawling with kids, almost like a kindergarten. We also have a German child Bruno, who despite being the son of a high-ranking Nazi officer who is very close to Hitler, does not know about Aryans, Jews and the concentration camps. Agreed, he may not be aware of the atrocities going on in those places: In the book, Bruno remains blissfully ignorant about all until the end. He almost seems mentally challenged. My knowledge about Auschwitz comes from reading history books only, but as far as I know, the camps were guarded by electrified fences and patrolled heavily across the clock.
It would not have been easy for somebody just to lift up the barbed wire and crawl in. And how was Schmuel the Jewish boy able to constantly evade the guards and come to the same spot at the fence where it was loose at the bottom? Characterisation Bruno is easily one of the most annoying protagonists ever created.
Naiveté one can understand — it is difficult to understand outright stupidity. The boy simply refuses to see what happens in front of his eyes. Even if he has not been indoctrinated impossible, as mentioned earlier, in Nazi Germany , he would have picked up much more. Most of the other characters are pasteboard, including Schmuel, the Jewish kid, put there as props to support the plot and move it along.
They are all one-dimensional other than the servant Maria and the Jewish doctor-turned-waiter Pavel. But they serve only to fill the space around Bruno. The Writing I could have forgiven Mr. Boyne for all these historical blunders and failures in characterisation, had he written good prose.
But that is the most terrible part of the book — the prose is puerile. We are told that his sister Gretel is a Hopeless Case every time she is mentioned. As a teen, I used to watch Hollywood war movies in which all Germans spoke English. The narrative was problematic. From the loose fence under which one can crawl through, the story jumps from hole to hole till it drops into the biggest hole of them all, the tragic finale. By that time, Boyne is pushing all the emotional buttons, trying to bring the tears on at full throttle… but the real tragedy here is the death of literature.
I understand that this book is a bestseller, and I can understand the reasons. I regret to say that this seems to me like adroit marketing of human tragedy… successful in this case. View all 58 comments. Mar 12, Phrynne rated it really liked it Shelves: I have actually sat for five full minutes gazing at a blank page and wondering what to say about this book. Words don't usually fail me! It does of course deal with a very painful and shocking part of our history and there are criticisms about some alterations to the true facts.
However The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is obviously intended for the younger end of the young adult range and the presentation needs to be fairly simplistic. Boyne himself describes it as a fable, that is a fiction story I have actually sat for five full minutes gazing at a blank page and wondering what to say about this book. Boyne himself describes it as a fable, that is a fiction story with a moral, and I think that is a good description. Writing from the point of view of the very naïve nine year old Bruno is very effective and makes the reader work a little harder to sort out events.
I was several pages in before it suddenly dawned on me that the Fury was the Fuhrer but I was a bit quicker to identify Out With.
That ending is so very, very sad. And then the final paragraph which reads like something from a fairy tale when it was so totally the opposite: Of course all this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age. View all 26 comments. Sep 03, Lisa rated it did not like it Shelves: There are plenty of insightful reviews on this piece of sensationalist, badly written, idiotic Disneyfication of the Holocaust on Goodreads.
I don't have anything to add to the criticism, except that I would love to see it taken off the curriculum in schools. Here are my replacement suggestions: Upon the Head of the Goat: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw And of course for more mature students, I recommend Anne Fran There are plenty of insightful reviews on this piece of sensationalist, badly written, idiotic Disneyfication of the Holocaust on Goodreads.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is a shameless money-making machine without writing skill or depth, without nuance or finesse, without basic knowledge of history or children's levels of understanding at age 9, and without the slightest ethical guidelines. The target group is unfortunately a generation of parents, teachers and children who have lost touch with complex historical and linguistic knowledge and who need a babyish, fictionalised, shockingly inaccurate version of the Second World War to stay focused - and that is unacceptable in my opinion.
Instead of giving in to the lower level of comprehension, we need to put in the extra effort to be able to read on the same level as generations of children before! We can't afford to lose the literacy fight, as it means losing the fight for historical knowledge and distinctions!
View all 39 comments. Nov 08, Betsy rated it did not like it. I'll give it this much. I think I need to go boil my eyeballs for a while. What was the author thinking? View all 29 comments. Bruno is incredibly naïve to the point where I began to wonder whether he might not be mentally retarded, in which case he would most likely have been murdered under the Nazi euthanasia program long before the timeline of the book, thus sparing us this novel!
Bruno, at nine, is one year shy of mandatory membership in the Hitler-Jugend, and his sister Gretel, at 12, would have been in the BDM for the previous TWO years and moreover the children of a high-ranking SS officer would absolutely have known who Hitler was and not mixed up his name.
So that gave me pause from about page 5 on. All of my criticisms make me think that Boyne did absolutely no research on German history, the German language, Nazis, the Holocaust or Auschwitz, and I'm beyond irritated to find out that this book is being touted as "the new Diary of Anne Frank " and indeed, replacing that work for kids in some schools.
This book trivializes the Holocaust and the murder of millions by turning these things into a feeble allegory about the universality of ethnic hatred and positing that all we really need are two boys who can crawl under the fences to each other. View all 8 comments. Oct 24, Julia Miller rated it it was amazing. I am bawling my eyes out.
John Boyne, thank you for writing this. I wish I could undo all the horrible things that happened to innocent people including all people who were affected by t I am bawling my eyes out. I wish I could undo all the horrible things that happened to innocent people including all people who were affected by the Holocaust, not only the Jews. View all 3 comments. Mar 17, Al Bità rated it did not like it. There is nothing to learn from this book.
There is much to dislike. From certain perspectives, it can even be said to be detestable. First of all, there is the authorial conceit that the work is written from the perspective of a child. The worst example of this come in the use of euphemisms for the Fuhrer 'the Fury' and for Auschwitz 'Out With' which become increasingly irritating as the work progresses. Bruno's 'difficulty' with these words is somehow supposed to charm us, and apparently giv There is nothing to learn from this book.
Bruno's 'difficulty' with these words is somehow supposed to charm us, and apparently gives the reader 'in the know' a soft, patronising glow which is presumably there to create a certain kind of sympathy for Bruno. It is interesting to note that Bruno apparently had no difficulty with the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas's name of Schmuel maybe he could have referred to him as the 'mule'? The same tweeness is in the description of the prison garb as 'striped pyjamas', ahtough that is less irritating.
It is really pushing the envelope to assume that Bruno is as naive as depicted. Indeed, it is this apparent ignorance of even the most basic things about Hitler's Germany, and it's attitude to Jews, that would have been brainwashed into the minds of German Youth, that is hardest to come to grips with. The author's 'childlike' writing permits him to draw several obscuring veils over the whole question. Even at the end, as Bruno and Schmuel go hand in hand into the 'darkness' and 'disappear' there is really nothing to indicate what happened to them.
A child reading this, without any awareness of the horrors of Auschwitz, could be forgiven for believing simply that they 'disappeared' into some mysterious unknown. Thus despite its cutesy language, the book is obviously intended to be read by adults who presumably DO know what happened to them; and that fact alone makes the writing condescending and patronising to say the least.
Since the reader is presumed to know these things, they will also know that the situation described in the book could never have happened. And, by the way, isn't it lucky that Schmuel speaks German. Had he been from some other country and spoken a different language, who knows how the story might have gone?
These are just some of the many irritations to be found in the book. The author has tried to justify it by arguing that the story is a fable, and that these things don't matter.
But if it is a fable, then fables usually teach a moral of some kind. What is the moral in this story? Don't trust in the friendship of Jews? Innocence and ignorance is no protection for awful things to happen to you? The fact that people feel saddened by the ending, or even shocked by it, is even more repellent: Because of the 'hiding' of the reality of the Auschwitz atrocities, the whole situation regarding Schmuel and the other victims seems to disappear, just as Schmuel and Bruno do.
I cannot help but feel deep repulsion towards this 'fable'. That such a deeply offensive approach is somehow apparently easily disregarded because of a twee authorial trick of using sweet, sugary language, and helps make it such a popular, 'safe' book no nasties crawling about here!
The book is inane, badly written, historically inaccurate, lacking in any sense of moral teaching no one in the book 'learns' anything, or even changes their attitude to anything and is hardly inspiring. View all 10 comments. Since I am the last of the 4. This is a YA novel and the easy, simple way in which it is written really punctuates one of the main themes; the innocence and naiveté of children.
At times I felt Bruno was a bit of a spoiled turd. I then felt guilty for feeling that way. I appreciated the way the relationship between his parents was portrayed. This would be a great discussion point for a book club.
And those last sentences? Perhaps because I was expecting it to be sad. I had been warned on multiple occasions to read with a box of tissue at my side. View all 4 comments.
Mar 11, Shannon leaninglights rated it really liked it. I'm glad I finally read it. It's taken me years to pick it up and watching the movie last month gave me the nudge to finally read it.
Actually seeing it was worse in the movie in terms of heartbreak and devastation. Such a powerful read, but not for the faint of heart. Aug 30, Hadrian rated it did not like it Shelves: Another case of some unscrupulous bastard making money with overwrought dramatizations of real tragedies. View all 13 comments. Most of the time they came across something interesting that was just sitting there, minding its own business, waiting to be discovered such as America.
Other times they discovered something that was probably best left alone like a dead mouse at the back of a cupboard. Mostly, he just wants to know why he has to put up with rules and be lonely and uncomfortable.
Bruno is a nine-year old boy living a privileged life in a big house in Berlin with his parents and his annoying twelve-year-old sister, Gretel. When the story opens, he walks into his bedroom and discovers the maid packing up all his things.
But it seemed a little unfair that they all had to go with her. Even if Father moves, why do the rest of them have to go live far away?
There was the fact that he never smiled and always looked as if he was trying to find somebody to cut out of his will. I think this is Bruno, using what he knows of life from an adventure story of someone off to seek their fortune maybe because they've been cut out of a will.
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