The Boy in Striped Pajamas

The Boy in Striped Pajamas

4.12 (394,222 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 15mm | 181g
  • London, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0385751532
  • 9780385751537
  • 83,136

Review Text

Berlin 1942
When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are...
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Review quote

"Certain to be one of the publishing sensations of 2006." -The Observer (U.K.) "A memorable and moving story." -The Oxford Times (U.K.)

"A small wonder of a book." -The Guardian (U.K.)

"A book so simple, so seemingly effortless, that it's almost perfect." -The Irish Independent

"An extraordinary book." -The Irish Examiner
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About John Boyne

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 From the Hardcover edition.
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Rating details

394,222 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 41% (162,602)
4 37% (145,231)
3 16% (64,366)
2 4% (15,742)
1 2% (6,281)

Our customer reviews

If you enjoyed the movie, this will be miles better! Just a beautiful, heart warming story. Once you've finished reading it, you'll keep this book forever and read it over and over again. The innocent viewpoint was what made this book special to me, with so much pain and death surrounding WWII, John Boyle does a wonderful job to capture it in a different light. For those of you who aren't keen readers, it is very light reading and I believe you will thoroughly enjoy it!show more
by Jacqueline Smith
"What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?" (pg. 100) A story of pure innocence and the power of seeing the world through a child's eyes, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a simple study of the injustice of WWII. This is a moving and powerful tale that takes a subject such as this large war and takes it down to an elementary scale that our youth can better understand. I give this five stars because, had I read this in my youth, I would easily want to read it again. Even at the age I'm at now, I wouldn't mind reading it again to look more for the symbology and allusions. "â�~The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone." (pg. 114) I initially picked up this book, although it's been on my to-read list for some time, because my youngest brother had to read it for school. I read it to help him, but really, although he's only a few chapters in so far, he's helped me. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how Bruno was mispronouncing "Out-With" and didn't know what he was supposed to be referencing; my youngest brother, through a discussion in his class, told me that it's supposed to be a concentration camp called Auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camp networks that killed an estimated 1.1 million people. After this realization I started thinking of this book in a different way. For example, I don't remember Hitler being called "The Fury," as well as I couldn't make out whatever derogatory name the soldiers were calling the jews in the book. The Fury is Bruno's misunderstanding of "Der F�¼rer" and if I did re-read this book I must keep in mind to read it through the eyes and understanding of a child. I have to say, on that point, that a nine-year-old (today, at least) would be a little more aware of their surroundings and what's really going on, based off of whatever they overhear from adults. "â�~We should never have let the Fury come to dinner,' she said. â�~Some people and their determination to get ahead.'" (pg. 40) This book is a great, simple introduction to children, towards the study of the Holocaust and the travesties of the second world war. Bruno shows how he relates to people, not by basing them off their religion, looks or creed, but by their attitude, persona and treatment of others. He found a friend in Shmuel and together they defied and rose above what even grown adults could not do. "â�~You're my best friend, Shmuel,' he said. â�~My best friend for life.'" (pg. 213) First Line: "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..." (pg. 2) Last Line: "Not in this day and age." (pg. 215) Quotes: "â�~Accept the situation in which you find yourself and everything will be so much easier.'" (pg. 53) "â�~When I was a child,' Bruno said to himself, â�~I used to enjoy exploring. And that was in Berlin, where I knew everywhere and could find anything I wanted with a blindfold on. I've never really done any exploring here. Perhaps it's time to start.'" (pg. 99) "It was almost (Shmuel thought) as if they were all exactly the same really." (pg. 204) "And that's the end of the story about Bruno and his family. Of course all this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age." (pg. 216) Originally posted at NovelReveries.comshow more
by Denee
This was a beautifully written book and because of its style,understated, was extremely powerful.It brought home the innocence of children and how they interpret the adult world in their own way.As an adult reader it really brought home the way great events touch small lives,and, hopefully, for younger readers give them some idea of what happened in the last war,At the end of the I felt the author was telling us that friendship will endure whatever the circumstances and it finished with a message of hope.Thank you to John Boyneshow more
by Paris Le Lean
What an incredible story! John Boyne has created innocent, na�¯ve Bruno and given him a powerful story to tell. This moving book should be required reading for everyone. Set in the 1940's in Berlin, Germany, the story centers around a nine-year-old German boy named Bruno. His family leaves Berlin to move to the country because his father has been reassigned by the "Fury." Bruno's youth and innocence has protected him from the harsh realities of Hilter and his reign of terror. Life in the country is dull and boring for Bruno. He doesn't understand his new home, "Out-With." He's left his friends behind and doesn't like the smaller house he's forced to live in with his parents and his sister. Missing the hustle and bustle of the city, Bruno begins to explore his new surroundings. Beyond the fence near his house, he sees people, but is confused by their strange striped pajamas and their sad demeanor. Bruno's loneliness is somewhat relieved when he becomes friends with a boy on the other side of the fence. They meet daily and exchange comments about their daily lives, but neither fully understands the circumstances of the other. Boyne presents a story about the Holocaust like none other before. He brings tragedy to life through the eyes of innocent children. Readers of all ages will be spellbound until the last page and beyond. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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