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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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"Powerful and unsettling. . . . As memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank." --USA Today Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his...
"Powerful and unsettling. . . . As memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank." --USA Today Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his...
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  • "Powerful and unsettling. . . . As memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank." --USA Today

    Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. 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 the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

    But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One Chapter One
    Bruno Makes a Discovery
    One afternoon, when Bruno came home from school, he was surprised to find Maria, the family's maid — who always kept her head bowed and never looked up from the carpet — standing in his bedroom, pulling all his belongings out of the wardrobe and packing them in four large wooden crates, even the things he'd hidden at the back that belonged to him and were nobody else's business.

    'What are you doing?' he asked in as polite a tone as he could muster, for although he wasn't happy to come home and find someone going through his possessions, his mother had always told him that he was to treat Maria respectfully and not just imitate the way Father spoke to her. 'You take your hands off my things.'

    Maria shook her head and pointed towards the staircase behind him, where Bruno's mother had just appeared. She was a tall woman with long red hair that she bundled into a sort of net behind her head, and she was twisting her hands together nervously as if there was something she didn't want to have to say or something she didn't want to have to believe.

    'Mother,' said Bruno, marching towards her, 'what's going on? Why is Maria going through my things?'

    'She's packing them,' explained Mother.

    'Packing them?' he asked, running quickly through the events of the previous few days to consider whether he'd been particularly naughty or had used those words out loud that he wasn' t allowed to use and was being sent away because of it. He couldn't think of anything though. In fact over the last few days he had behaved in a perfectly decent manner to everyone and couldn't remember causing any chaos at all. 'Why?' he asked then. 'What have I done?'

    Mother had walked into her own bedroom by then but Lars, the butler, was in there, packing her things too. She sighed and threw her hands in the air in frustration before march-ing back to the staircase, followed by Bruno, who wasn't going to let the matter drop without an explanation.

    'Mother,' he insisted. 'What's going on? Are we moving?'

    'Come downstairs with me,' said Mother, leading the way towards the large dining room where the Fury had been to dinner the week before. 'We'll talk down there.'

    Bruno ran downstairs and even passed her out on the staircase so that he was waiting in the dining room when she arrived. He looked at her without saying anything for a moment and thought to himself that she couldn' t have applied her make-up correctly that morning because the rims of her eyes were more red than usual, like his own after he'd been causing chaos and got into trouble and ended up crying.

    'Now, you don't have to worry, Bruno,' said Mother, sitting down in the chair where the beautiful blonde woman who had come to dinner with the Fury had sat and waved at him when Father closed the doors. 'In fact if anything it's going to be a great adventure.'

    'What is?' he asked. 'Am I being sent away?'

    'No, not just you,' she said, looking as if she might smile for a moment but thinking better of it. 'We all are. Your father and I, Gretel and you. All four of us.'

    Bruno thought about this and frowned. He wasn't particularly bothered if Gretel was being sent away because she was a Hopeless Case and caused nothing but trouble for him. But it seemed a little unfair that they all had to go with her.

    'But where?' he asked. 'Where are we going exactly? Why can't we stay here?'

    'Your father's job,' explained Mother. 'You know how important it is, don't you?'

    'Yes, of course,' said Bruno, nodding his head, because there were always...

About the Author-

  • John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and the University of East Anglia, Norwich. His novels have been published in over forty languages, and his books for young readers include Noah Barleywater Runs Away and The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas won two Irish Book Awards, topped the New York Times bestseller list, and was adapted into a Miramax feature film. He lives in Dublin. To learn more, visit JohnBoyne.com.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books oscarinho - The story of the book was called the Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. This story was about a boy who lived during the German Reich in which his father was a commandment of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He lives with his father Ralf, Mother Elsa, Sister Gretel, and maid Maria. Bruno now goes and starts finding little by little what's going on because he doesn't know about his dad's job. As Bruno meets a boy in the concentration camp called Shmuel who's a lonely boy who lost his father (when his father went and participated in a protest and never came back). Elsa finds out what Ralf's job really is and is mad at him. Bruno decides to help Schmuel to find his father and changes clothes into the "Striped pajamas" and finally finds out how life is for Schmuel and gets into a gas chamber and Bruno's family finds out he's missing and as an SS soldier pours some Zyklon B pellets as the Jews start yelling and banging on the door. As Ralf finds out a gassing has started and finds out Bruno is in there and yells his name but it is already to late Bruno's dead. I think this book is bad as the ending is a sad one. Bruno and the Jewish people did not deserve to die. This book also made me personally sad, but in all the plot and the details of the book were amazing I just think that the ending was bad. I think audience reading this book should be 13+ who are reading about Jews and Nazis. Or who are reading about the world war 2. Also on if people wanted to know how Jewish people actually have to live on concentration camps. An internal conflict is man vs self when Bruno offers a piece of cake. Kolter the lieutenant accuses him of stealing. Shmuel denies saying that Bruno offered him but as Kolter asks Bruno. Since Bruno is scared of Kolter him is fighting against himself to say yes or no. An external conflict is man vs man when a new doctor called Pavel helps the family but Pavel has to watch out because he is Jewish. When Pavel accidentally drops wine on Kolter. Kolter beats him to death. This shows man vs man because Kolter physically fights the man and kills him. The book of this title is called The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. I think this is a good title because it shows what the Jewish people had to wear when they were in the concentration camp. I think a good title would be the boy behind the barbed wire because it would make sense because he is in the concentration camp where he can't escape. I think the theme would be friendship. Bruno made friends with the people his family hated and would come and play board games and give him food. It's also friendship because Bruno had only one friend during the time he lived in the out with (his new home) he would never make fun of him or befriend him because he was Jewish. Lastly it is friendship because Bruno died trying to find Shmuel's dad and stood up for each other even in death.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 17, 2006
    In 1942 Berlin, nine-year-old Bruno returns from school to discover that his father, a high-ranking military officer, has a new job. He announces that the family—Bruno, mother and his older sister, Gretel—is moving "for the foreseeable future" to somewhere described only as "far away." Their journey unfolds through Bruno's eyes—his poignant initial objection is that the new house is not nearly as nice as the one they vacated. Worse still, he misses his friends. Beyond the tall fence separating his yard from an adjacent compound of crude huts, however, Bruno sees potential playmates, all clad in gray-striped pajamas. Though the publisher has kept plot details under wraps (e.g., cover copy and promotional materials include no specifics), readers with even a rudimentary knowledge of 20th-century history will figure out, before Bruno does, where he lives and why the title boy he meets in secret at the fence each afternoon is pale, thin and sad. The protagonist's naïf perspective is both a strength and weakness of this simple, thought-provoking story. What occurs next door is, in fact, unimaginable. But though Bruno aspires to be an explorer when he grows up, his passivity and failure to question or puzzle out what's going on in what he calls "Out-With" diminishes him as a character. It strains credulity to believe that an officer's son would have absolute ignorance about the political realities of the day. But that is the point. How could the world outside the fence not have known, or have known and failed to act on, what was happening inside it? In the final pages, the tension rises precipitously and the harrowing ending, in which Bruno does finally act, is sure to take readers' breath away. Ages 12-up.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 13, 2006
    Through the eyes of an innocent nine-year-old boy named Bruno, listeners become complicit bystanders, observing some of the horrors of the Holocaust. Maloney's soft-toned narration and chipper, believably childlike characterization of Bruno dramatically bring home the fable-like qualities of Boyne's moving text. Bruno's limited comprehension of all going on around him begs listeners, presumably with more knowledge than the protagonist, to glean the fuller story between the lines. When his father, an officer for "the Fury," as Bruno refers to him, is transferred from Berlin to a new post in Poland called "Out-With," Bruno and his family try to adjust. From his new bedroom window Bruno can see a fenced-in camp where all the inhabitants wear striped pajamas. He learns more about this intriguing place when he befriends a boy inside the camp named Shmuel (who happens to share Bruno's birthday). Their friendship progresses dangerously and brings Boyne's tale to a shocking end that is sure to be a discussion starter. A bonus interview between Boyne and his editor David Fickling is included. Ages 12-up.

  • -The Observer (U.K.) "Certain to be one of the publishing sensations of 2006."
  • -The Oxford Times (U.K.) "A memorable and moving story."
  • -The Guardian (U.K.) "A small wonder of a book."
  • -The Irish Independent "A book so simple, so seemingly effortless, that it's almost perfect."
  • -The Irish Examiner "An extraordinary book."

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    Random House Children's Books
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