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Student Studentson

April 4, 2016
ENG 1P
Mr. Dedato
Book Review for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is a book about an unlikely
friendship between a German and Jewish boy during WWII. Bruno, the son of a
German commandant, finds his world flipped upside down when his family is relocated
to a remote location. Living in an isolated area, Bruno, searches for a companion his
own age. A strong friendship gradually develops between the two boys, and Bruno
risks his life for his friend. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is an outstanding book
because of its relatable characters, unusual perspective, and the interesting theme of
good versus evil.

The book is written so the reader can relate to characters such as Bruno. The
author describes Bruno as a typical nine-year-old boy who is nave and lonely, loves to
explore, and is oblivious to the world around him. For example, in the book, Bruno is
having a conversation with his family and they are discussing The Fuhrer, when
Bruno innocently asks: 'Who is the fury?' (Boyne 117). Father corrects him, telling
him that it is The Fuhrer, but Bruno continues to insist that he does not know. At
this point, Gretel scornfully replies, 'He runs the country, idiot,' (Boyne 117). This
shows how Bruno is nave to the events around him and the power of Hitler during
WWII. Many young people who are reading this book can easily relate to being a
young child and not understanding politics. The relatable characters allow the reader
to experience WWII from a different perspective.

The novel has an unusual perspective because it is one of the first stories about

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the Holocaust to be written from a child's point of view. It takes you through WWII
through the eyes of two nine-year old German boys, one the son of a commandant
and the second a Jew. After Bruno and his family are relocated to Auschwitz, Bruno
looks out his window at the concentration camp. He has no understanding of what a
concentration camp is and the horrors the victims endure: He saw, hundreds of
people in the distance going about their business, and that was the fact that all of
them were wearing the same clothes as each other: a pair of grey striped pajamas
with a gray striped cap on their heads (Boyne 38). And all he could say was, How
extraordinary, before turning away (Boyne 38). This quote shows the innocence of
children thinking these people have chosen to farm wearing pajamas. Bruno has no
understanding of what is happening in Germany and Europe, and could not imagine
the evils of the Holocaust. This perspective allows readers, who have not experienced
anything like the Holocaust before, to experience it step-by-step along with Bruno.
While Bruno thinks innocently, his father struggles with the mistreatment of the Jews.

In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, we see Bruno and his father struggle to
understand the evil things adults do to Jews for the good of his country. Brunoss
father, is in anguish because he is Hitlers commandant and father to two children.
One night a dinner, a servant, a Jew, spilled some wine. A soldier under Brunos
father command becomes angry and drags him into another room and mauls him.
The vicious Lieutenant Kotler became very angry with Pavel and no one not Bruno,
not Gretel, not Mother and not even Father stepped in to stop him doing what he did
next, even though none of them could watch. Even though it made Bruno cry and
Gretel grew pale (Boyne, 148-149). Father knows what is going on, but he is
apprehensive and gives no eye contact to his children and pretends it is not
happening. Although Bruno realizes his father is a good man he could not understand

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why he failed to stop the soldier from beating up the cowering Pavel. This heartwrenching scene in the book allows readers to relate to the characters from a different
perspective and see the struggles some Germans faced while trying to understand the
leadership of Hitler.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is great book to read for teenagers.

It is an

amazing book because it gives readers a new perspective of what life was like during
the WWII. Boyne made the characters relatable and showed the struggle people had
with what they were doing to the Jews. I recommend this book for anyone who likes
history with a bit of fiction, a strange adventure and a bit of a mystery.