The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Chisholm Catholic College Library > Book Reviews > The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The place that the book starts is in Berlin where Bruno and his family lived with a few maids and before he moved to the commandant’s house outside the Auschwitz concentration camp. The main characters are Bruno, aged 9, Gretel, aged 12 (sister of Bruno), his father and mother. Another main character is the maid Maria.  Further on in the book, we meet Shmuel, Bruno’s friend. The problem in the story is that Bruno doesn’t have a friend and he didn’t/ doesn’t want to move house away from his family (grandparents) but later he finds a friend on the other side of a long, wire fence and Bruno has to keep his friend a secret.

The first main event was that Bruno and his family moved to outside Auschwitz. The second thing that happened was that when they moved, Bruno had no friends and he was feeling lonely. After about two weeks, he spotted the boys in striped pj’s on the other side of a wire fence. Then Bruno noticed that his dad was getting a lot of German commanders coming to his house. Then he discovered a new friend who was also alone named Shumel.  He payed regular visits to him, sneaking him food.  A little later Shumel helps and comes to clean dishes at Bruno’s house. Later in the book, Hitler and his wife Eva come to their house to have dinner. Then the rest of the book is for you to find out!

I loved the book because of the unexpected turns in the story as well as the friendship blooming between Shumel and Bruno. Another part of the book I enjoyed and I think other people would too, is the ending. However, that part wasn’t predictable although it’s based on true historical events. My favourite part of the book was when Shumel and Bruno discovered that they had the same birth day and how they both became friends. The saddest part of the book was when Bruno didn’t come back to his family and Shumel’s father because he was helping Shumel look for his father who was missing inside the concentration camp.

I would recommend this book to others because you feel so many different emotions in the book like when Bruno and Shumel become friends and nervous when Hitler comes to have dinner. They are just two examples of many. I would rate the book 5 stars because it’s full of action, adventure, pager turners and cliff hangers.