The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Book Review)

Bruno is a nine-year old boy who lives in a house in the city of Berlin. His life is also quite normal, with his three best friends for life and his twelve-year old sister, Gretel who teams up with all her friends to mock him. His father is a proud Nazi captain at the Auschwitz concentration camp while her mother is a housewife. Bruno enjoys his life very much.

However, one fine day, his mother has one unraveling and unfortunate surprise: they’re going to move to another house in Poland which is near the camp. Reluctantly, with no other choice and with the fact he can’t be an independent man, he and the whole family, including his house maiden, Maria, and a few other house assistants move to the new house. It’s called Out-With too, for a special reason. In sadness, all that Bruno can do is just hope that they’ll move back to their old home in the ‘foreseeable future,’ as his father says.

In spite of the promise, Bruno’s old memories start fading away. Since he’s a good explorer, he decided to explore the place around him despite the fact their house is isolated. One boring day, after his lessons with his teacher, Her Liszt, he sees a dot while strolling. The dot becomes a speck and into a figure and into a boy in striped pajamas. He is like everyone else on the other side of the fence. His name is Shumel. When they meet, they realize they have many similarities. But it will be hard to keep his private friend a secret.

After many successful attempts of escaping from being spotted with his secret friend, he asks his dad why the boys on the other side of the fence wear striped pajamas which… his father doesn’t answer. So he does his own research and many other events occur at the exact moment. To his surprise, after one year of staying in Auschwitz, his mother announced that the family (except his father) will be moving back to Berlin. So, he and Shumel make a plan for their final adventure. Will it be a fun one? You would have to read the book.

Based on a true story, learn more from the author who experienced WWII and learn more of the Auschwitz concentration camp.


Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Age group: 8-12
Book type: Storybook (vintage classic)


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