“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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This YA novel is written in a light and dreamy tone, which makes the fact that it’s about the Holocaust that much more disturbing. John Boyne’s bestseller follows Bruno, the naïve son of a Nazi commandant, who lives outside a concentration camp but doesn’t quite understand what’s going on there. Bored and lonely, Bruno forms a secret friendship with a boy he meets on the other side of the fence. The story is heartbreaking, and there’s so much to ponder and discuss here: about childhood innocence, about being a complicit bystander, and about the ability for evil to coexist comfortably with everyday life.
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 na f 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
High School Reader
I thought it was an amazing book. I'm a freshman in high school. We read the book along with the book "Night" by Elie Weisle. It's a amazing book to. A note to parents though.. I advise that you read the book first. To determine if your child can handle it. The information. They will need a basic understanding of the history. If you plan to watch the movie as well, I advise the same thing. Especially for the ending bit.
AMAZING!!this is a book from the poring of view of the holocaust by a nine year old!at the end I was balling my eyes out!!you will for sure Cry your heart out!!<3
Favorite Holocaust Book <3
Never have I read a book that perfectly described and showed a Childs view of the holocaust so clearly. I fell in love with this book from page 1 (: