The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas-Storyline and Review
‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas‘ is a story set up during the time of the 2nd world war at the time of the Holocaust. It’s the story of a 9-year-old boy, Bruno, who lives with his parents and sister in Berlin. He also has his grandparents and friends, with who he is very close. His father is a senior officer in the Army and is ordered by the Fuhrer to serve at Auschwitz- a concentration camp where all the Jews are brought as prisoners and executed.
Bruno’s tender mind cannot understand why they must leave a well-settled life in Berlin to live alone in a remote place with no school, no friends, and no grandparents. Not having much choice and hoping they will soon return, Bruno and his sister reluctantly agree.
After moving to Auschwitz, the initial few weeks seem dull for both siblings. Bruno discovers that he can see the concentration camp from his bedroom window. Not understanding what exactly it is, Bruno imagines it to be a big get-together of people enjoying and having fun together as against his boring life without friends, extended family, and school. His curiosity takes him to explore the fence that separates his home from the concentration camp. He finds a good friend of a Jewish boy his age who is a prisoner in the camp. The two of them become good friends. Soon it becomes a routine for Bruno to walk down the fence and spend time with his new friend. This secret adventure and the excitement of making a new friend make him slowly forget his old friends and life in Berlin. Life is finally going well for Bruno when, one day, things change for the worse.
This is a historical fiction novel written from the perspective of a 9-year-old, so it doesn’t describe the miseries and unfortunate events associated with the Holocaust. It simply narrates the events as seen and understood by a child. Hence it can be read by young readers. However, as an adult, one can draw interpretations and make sense of the picture being portrayed. Therefore, the book doesn’t fit into the Young fiction category. The best way to introduce this book to your child would be to read along. If you feel that, at some point, it gets disturbing for the child, you can decide to discontinue reading it.
The author has also taken the liberty to change some facts and deviate a bit from reality, but he gets full credit for creating a gripping story that keeps you glued to the book till you finish it. An excellent read indeed, but one that leaves you feeling very sad.
- Publisher : Definitions (Young Adult); 1st edition (13 Feb. 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1909531197
- ISBN-13 : 978-1909531192
- Reading age : 12 – 17 years
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
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It is also available as a film, which I highly recommend watching only after reading the book. The film is available on Prime Video.
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