Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This is a powerful tale of the holocaust from the eyes and the heart of a young boy. Bruno and his family move to Out-With when his father is made commandant by the Fury. He hates the nasty little house and the fear that seems to live everywhere. But, most of all he is desperately lonely.

This changes when he decides to begin exploring. As he walks the length of the fence he discovers a 'dot that became a speck that became a blob that became a figure that became a boy.' So begins his friendship with Shmeul.

The reader knows the realities of this concentration camp, but told through the innocent eyes of a 9 year old boy it is easy to ignore the hard bits. Reading it,made me understand how the neighboring people could justify and ignore just as Bruno was doing. Even after a year he didn't understand why the fence existed.

The ending is sad - but sad in a ridiculous way...but I can't tell you a single thing. I can't hint at the end. I can't.

The book is written in a light handed, non-judgemental way that allows all the judgement to come from the readers. My Boyne is a genius!!!

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