The main character in the book is a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. Him and his family live in Berlin back in the 1940´s, during the time when Adolf Hitler was active. Bruno´s father is a Nazi commandant, and works for Hitler. And one day, that leads to the fact that the whole family has to move to Auschwitz, and leave everything behind. What no one in the family but the father knows, is that their house in Auschwitz actually lies very close to a concentration camp for Jews.
When they move to their big house with an amazingly enormous garden, Bruno is told that there are certain places where he absolutely can not go. Strangely, he is at no time told why. As Bruno just has left all of his friends back in Berlin, he obviously wants to make new ones. Like any normal nine-year-old boy would. And the fact that Bruno really likes to explore new things does not help the situation. While he explores the forbidden area he finds the concentration camp. And he meets Schmuel there as well. Although they have to talk through the fence all the time, they become truly admirable friends. The story continues from there, and different dilemmas and situations occur along the way.
I would probably recommend this book to teenagers and adults, simply because of the fact that there are some unpleasant scenes in the book that are inappropriate for children. Also you have to know a little bit about what happened back in the 1940´s when Adolf Hitler was active and how the situation was between the Nazi’s and the Jews, otherwise it would be kind of difficult to understand certain moments in the book. But on the other hand, some people may argue that the book is a good way to learn about that time. I think that you at least should know some basic facts before you read it, but there are also some things that you learn from the book either way. For example, you get to know what it was like to be a German family during this tragic time. I assume that when people talk about the tragedy that was ongoing back then today, the common subject is about how horrible it was for the Jews because so many of them were killed. Which is not a weird fact, due to that it undoubtedly was horrid. Although what many people forget is that this was an awful time for the German families as well. As you read the book, you put yourself more and more into their situation. Which I think is a good reason why you should take your time to read it. I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading it really much. And I usually do not get entertained by reading a book. Often I find it kind of uninteresting. Simply because of the fact that I feel like there are funnier things to do then just to be inside and read a book. Personally I would much rather go outside and do something else. But it genuinely was different with this book, by reason of that it catches you the second that you start reading. I certainly believe that this is a book that the majority of the people can appreciate. That is the reason why I am telling you to read “The boy in the striped pyjamas”!
Ture Rosén. Peer corrected by Mina Englund, Ella Haglund and André Johansson. EKES15