The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

A Fable

Boyne, John

Book - 2007
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : David Fickling Books, 2007, 2006
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0385751060
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION BOYNE...J
Characteristics: 215, 16 p. ; 21 cm
Notes: Originally published: Great Britain : David Fickling Books, 2006


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 13, 2015

This book is heart warming and it made my tears come pouring out!

Sep 17, 2014
  • emmilee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The naive narrator is an essential part of what makes this book as impactful as it is. Bruno and Shmuel's lack of understanding of the situations they're in really effect the reader emotionally. This book is strewn with blatant metaphors, however they aren't as irksome as I usually find highly conspicuous messages. In fact, they compliment the simplicity of the tale told through a 9 year old's eyes.

Aug 08, 2014
  • kindrabirss rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I love the tone of this book. It's written from the point of view of a naive little boy so he really doesn't understand the gravity of what's happening around him making the book feel lighter and not so heavy with the subject matter. I love how Bruno loves his Jewish friend and doesn't understand the prejudice against him - just that he's a boy and they are the same. A very sad ending though.

Aug 01, 2014
  • ypzheng rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It explained the concept of the concentration camps that the Jews were being held in deeply. It processed a big image of what was going on to the Jews and how they were treated based on a small, independent, and adventurous German boy.

Jul 21, 2014
  • Blue_Dolphin_902 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I have read this book twice now and I think it does a great job explaining the Holocaust from an 8 year olds POV. I just saw the movie and I loved it.

Apr 16, 2014
  • MsNavillus rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I recognize that the main character, Bruno, is meant to be a naive and sheltered child, but I found his naivete to be impossible to believe. This book is written as a fable but is not meant for young children; if it is intended for older readers it should be more challenging and historically accurate. There are better introductions to the Holocaust for young readers.

Mar 22, 2014
  • emilyswartzer rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Here it is: Historical fiction at its worst. I hate to say it, but it just didn't work for me. After so many people loving it, I thought it would be better. Writing through the eyes of a nine year old boy wasn't the way to write this. From this POV, the author couldn't explore the true horrors associated with the Holocaust. Therefore, I feel like so many important details were skipped over. Sure there was a concentration camp, but it was never named as so, and the author never said anything about what really happened in there. And so Bruno never realized what actually went on over there while living in his picture-perfect home with his perfect family giving the Führer no reason to complain about them. You can never really feel the emotion of this tragic time or feel sorry for the Jews because they were so rarely mentioned in this book that was supposed to be about the Holocaust. There are so many novels out there, but this one just didn't capture the importance of what went on in the time of where it was based. I'd say for juvenile fiction, try Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. If you're more interested in YA, I'd definitely go with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Feb 02, 2014

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is a historical-fiction novel, based on the Second World War, the holocaust particularly. The story is written in the perspective of Bruno, a young German child, son of a commandment, a high order in the Nazi state. The story is seen from the eyes of Bruno, as he enters his room and finds the maid packing up his things. He then discovers that he will be moving into a new house, that is far away, since his father has been promoted and is set to work and a place Bruno refers to as “out-with”. Soon after his arrival, Bruno dislikes his new home and decides to go exploring until he meets a fence; and by the fence he sees a young boy, Shmuel who’s about his age with whom he makes friends with. The main idea of this novel was to portray the holocaust in not only the eyes of an innocent child, but he tells that we really are all the same. This part is specifically portrayed by a scene in the story, where Bruno shaves his head and he realized that he and Shmuel look exactly the same, and nothing important sets them apart. Though the text is written at a level where mature readers are unchallenged, the themes of this novel allow for a deeper analysis of social issues and boundaries that aren’t only to do with the holocaust. The award winning fable that is sure to bring a tear to your eye has been turned into a major motion film. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is definitely a book that should not be ignored as it not only a book about the holocaust but about issues we face in today’s society as well.

Oct 17, 2013

You need to be able to understand the camp and pyjamas to read this

Sep 17, 2013

I saw the movie and it make me cried so hard!!!!!!!!!!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Sep 17, 2014
  • emmilee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

emmilee thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Aug 18, 2014
  • ione_10 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ione_10 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 21, 2014
  • Blue_Dolphin_902 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Blue_Dolphin_902 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 21, 2014
  • black_dove_60 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

black_dove_60 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 06, 2014
  • Torstad rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Torstad thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 31, 2013
  • TenzinYoudon rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

TenzinYoudon thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 02, 2013
  • RainbowGoldfish rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

RainbowGoldfish thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 19, 2013

Novich thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

Feb 27, 2013

davka thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 18, 2012
  • green_rabbit_140 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

green_rabbit_140 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

View All Ages


Add a Summary

Jan 24, 2011
  • b_xy_p rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

9 year old Bruno is the son of a Nazi solider. One day, he comes home, and his father takes his family and moves to a countryside. There, they live in a house called "Out-With". Bruno finds it very lonely there, until one day he sees men and boys in stripped pajamas. He is very curious about this, and goes to explore. There, he finds Shumel, a Jewish 9 year old that is in the concentration camp that Bruno's home is so close to. Though they were separated with a wired fence, they become best friends, Bruno going there everyday to talk to Shumel, and Shumel waiting for him. But then, Bruno's father says that Bruno and his sister and mother must go back to Berlin, their orginal home. Bruno isn't willing to go back because he didn't want to lose Shumel, so for the last day he was at his home, "Out-With", Bruno sneaks under to fence to see what is on the other side.
Bruno never got to see Berlin ever again.

Nov 29, 2010
  • AnamariaMihai rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

very sad book and its sad that during the holocaust(think i spelled it right) many died because of no reason and many just sat there and did nothing about it.

Oct 23, 2009
  • Rachel A. Bidulka rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

9 year-old Bruno, son of a Nazi solder moves from home town Berlin to Out-With, the name of their new home. one day Bruno go off exploring inot the forest, where he finds the concentration camp, and a little boy name Smeul, a Jewish boy. This is the story of Bruno adventures in a Nazi's world, and the adventure of Bruno and Smeul.

Fences like these are all over the world. We hope you never have incounter one


Add a Quote

Nov 10, 2011
  • iluv_hngr_gms_JB rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"fences like these exist all over the world we hope you never happen encounter one" -John Boyne

Jan 24, 2011
  • b_xy_p rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"And then the room went very dark and somehow, despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shumuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go."


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at GL