Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
This children's novel follows nine year old Bruno as he moves with his family when his father is made commandant of Auschwitz. Bruno doesn't understand what is happening around him - why do all those people live behind the barbed wire when he has no-one to play with on his side. Why do they all wear striped pyjamas? Why are they all so thin and sad? He makes friends with Shmuel, a nine year old boy on the other side of the wire, who shares his birthday. They sit and talk about their lives and Bruno smuggles food out of his house to give to Shmuel. Although I knew the ending before I read the book I won't reveal it here, though I think it may be well known. Just to say, have a large box of tissues with you when you read this book, it's very moving. And do read it, even if you don't normally read children's books.