Genres: Childrens, Historical,
Publisher: Black Swan
Release Date: 2007
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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
from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to
play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as
far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can
see 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 to his own, and their meeting
results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
The story is told from the point of view of a child, as if to a child, which makes the story even more eerie and unsettling as Bruno tries to find out about the strange people across the fence, wearing striped pyjamas. He's a stark contrast to Shmuel, who's around the same age but knows of the full horrors of the war and has experienced them too.
Bruno and Scmuel's friendship is a simple and tragic one. Schmuel is the only friend Bruno has now that he's moved away from the city into a house next to the 'Out-With', and he tries to visit him every day, often trying to bring food which quickly gets at least half eaten on the journey to the fence.
One of the cleverest aspects of the book is showing an older audience the things Bruno didn't pick up on - the visits from the Fury, Out-With, why his chef wasn't allowed to be a doctor anymore. It really gives the reader a glimpse into the true goings on in Bruno's household, while showing just how innocent Bruno is.
ending is quick, but brutal. I did think that last chapter rushed the
story a little, trying to tie everything up and there were historical inaccuracies, but the story was still very powerful. You can see the events
leading up to it's final conclusion and I was hoping beyond hope all the
way through that someone would intervene or something would happen, but
it never did.
It takes a lot to shock me in a story, particularly in a story about World War Two and the concentration camps, however this book managed just that, and will stick with me forever. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is undoubtedly a modern classic, and will remain a classic for a very long time.