Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Book: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Rating: A

I've been avoiding this one. It's been sitting there on the nightstand, and I've been looking at for while now, being quite nervous to read it. But, finally, it's over! And it really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Of course, it was heart breaking, but I didn't get as emotionally involved as I thought I would.

As most of you know, this is the story a nine year old German boy. His father has quite the important job with Nazi regime and has to move his family to.... a place the boy doesn't especially enjoy. That is, until one day he meets a friend at the fence. After that, things get more interesting.

The story is told very much through his eyes. He doesn't understand at all most of what is going on. He is very naive and sheltered. And I like this. It kept me more distant from the "real" story, which I think is why I handled it all better than I expected. Maybe some people are bugged by that, but I thought it was a very interesting and unique way to approach the Holocaust issue.

The back of my book says this story is about a nine year old, but isn't for nine year olds to read. But I actually thought if you are ready to teach your child (yes, an older child) about this part of our history, this book might be a pretty good place to start.

I haven't seen the movie yet. That one makes me nervous too. I don't think I'll be able keep emotionally distant from it at all. Here's the trailer if you're interested:

Other Reviews:


  1. I read this book a few months ago and have to admit I didn't love it. Too many little issues that kind of ruined it for me.

  2. I listened to this one and thought that the audio version was a good choice. I don't plan to see the movie.

  3. I have been waiting my turn for this book at the local library for about 6 weeks now. I am very anxious to read it.

    I am like you, in that I procrastinate reading books like this - about this time in our history - because I know I will become too emotionally attached. I am glad that is tempered somewhat in this YA novel.

  4. I was expecting it to be a bit more emotional than it was. The movie however looks like it's aiming to be a tear-jerker.

    I also think this would be a good way to introduce a child to this period in history.
    And the subject matter doesn't seem too harsh for children imo. I know that both my boys read Anne Frank while in grade 3 which would have made them 8 or 9. Although Anne Frank is a good teaching book, the boys at our elementary library often complain that it's too 'girly', so Striped PJs would be beneficial as more of a non-girly book.

  5. I thought this was a really good book and the movie was right up there with it.

  6. I have wanted to read this book since it came out and still haven't got around to it! I really must remedy that at some point and time!

  7. I loved this book, but I'm also not sure about seeing the movie - I think it could be just too emotional for me. Now I know the story I think I just want to see happy things at the cinema!

  8. I saw the movie and I cried. I hope to read the book, too, at some point.

    I've posted about your review here.

    Diary of an Eccentric



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