Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bruno is a 9-year-old boy whose father is the Commandant at "Out-With". Shmuel is a 9-year-old boy who lives on the other side of the fence in his striped pajamas. Bruno, who has recently moved to "Out-With" since his father has gotten promoted, misses his friends from back in Berlin and doesn't understand why there are all those people on the other side of the fence. Bruno, who would like to be an explorer when he grows up decides to go exploring one day and he finds Shmuel sitting by the fence. They begin talking every day, sharing stories and of Bruno bringing snacks for Shmuel. Theirs is an odd friendship formed of one child who somewhat understands what is going on within the fence, the other not even realizing that he has been moved to Poland.

This book takes a unique look at a very frightening time period through the naive eyes of child. Mr. Boyne does a great job of making you re-think how a child looks at his/her environment. The fact that as a child your world revolves around what you are told by your parents and the rules and regulations that your parents set for you. Bruno is very good at letting us know what those rules are that have been set for him which allows us to feel what it is like to once again be 9-years-old and lonely and want to spend the day in our pajamas but know that it is against the rules.

Through Bruno's friendship with Shmuel I felt an array of emotions; humor, horror, anger, and ultimately sadness. Bruno and Shmuel's last days together have a sweet sadness about them. I am glad that I got to share in Bruno and Shmuel's story and hope that I never feel the feeling of being on the wrong side of the fence.


Caspette said...

I recently read John Boyne's Mutiny on the Bounty and I was impressed by the depth of research that clearly went into the book. I am now eager to try this book.

Good review. I recommend you try Mutiny on the Bounty as well.

The Lovely Wife said...

Thanks, I am always looking for a good book.

Thanks also for reading my review and giving input. I am new to writing reviews so input is always good.