The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

About the book

Nine year old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no-one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas. Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

Reviewed by Petersfield U3A 1 Reading Group:

All our members enjoyed this story with its interesting approach through the boy’s eyes to the concentration camp. Very well written and worth reading.

Star rating: ****

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4 thoughts on “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne”

  1. Review by unknown reading group:
    Thought provoking. Is this what is know as a ‘cross-over’ book? It raises questions whether it is really suitable for children. Some of us thought it very moving, it certainly made for a lot of discussion.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review Ems Valley U3A Reading Group:
    We unanimously agreed with The Guardian’s comment – “a small wonder of a book”. We could see it could be a book for many people, but all felt its simplicity made it all the more powerful for adults.
    Star rating: ****

  3. Review by Book Tower Reading Group:
    Overall the group found this book easy to read. It portrays a particular message about an horrific period during WWII and although it has some amusing dialogue, the reader is always aware of the underlying sinister and distressing real life events that underpin the story.
    Rating: 5 Stars

  4. Review by Andover Hearing Impaired Group
    Interesting as a child’s book and as an adult one. Good read.
    Rating: ***

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