The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Historical Fiction Report
Annotated Book Review
Bruno, a nine year old boy, has his life turned upside down in a WW2 historical fiction novel by John Boyne: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. After his father is promoted Bruno’s belongings are packed and he is forced to move to a place in the country called “Out With”. He must leave everything behind that he knows and loves. This book brings fascinating light to German Rule during WW2 and all the effects that it’s had on an entire population.
In The Boy and the Striped Pajamas Bruno moves from a cheery well natured utopia to a desolate, and discouraging place. Bruno, once surrounded with friends and an active environment now finds scathing and for what fun he can find. And apathy towards his lessons from his teacher adds to the mess. Eventually after boredom to the extreme levels Bruno decides to do a little exploration, what he finds is a friendship that he should have never made in which he has to use deception to keep it going. Bruno is conflicted by the need for friends and yet wonders why his new friend is so … different. His little knowledge of what’s happening around him, and his naïve understanding of the world leads Bruno into an uncharted and unexplored situation.
John Boyne takes this novel in the interesting lens of a nine year old. Many things change when a child is telling a story and so it is in this book. For example Boyne uses the inadequate vocabulary of a child likewise not giving as much details of history and surroundings as hoped. Like most children Bruno can’t understand what’s going on around him and so in turn the reader sometimes will have trouble following the story. A much more minor note is that one has to find himself sorting through flashbacks and present time, since Boyne uses many flashbacks in Bruno’s point of view. Not only these facts but how Boyne ends the book so abruptly makes for an acceptable but not phenomenal book.
Although the book has minor setbacks overall the story is great, yet heart – breaking at the same time. Sometimes you might find yourself board in this book but eventually thrills will come. I would rate this book about three and a half stars. This might sound like a harsh but some parts of the book just make you thirst for greater excitement and more details.
The holocaust was an event that took place during WWII and was carried out by the Nazi. Around 6 million Jews were killed, not accounting for non Jews or Jews not killed in the concentration camps. Hatred for Jews or anti - semitism was not new for Europe as it dated back to when the Romans first destroyed the Jewish temple in Palestine. Only a little later in history Adolf Hitler blamed Jews for poisoning the German community and its purity. Hitler was a soldier during WWI and picked up the nationalistic spirit during the war. Afterwards hitler participated in acts to overthrow the German government and was sent to jail. During this time hitler wrote Mein Kampf or My Struggle. After being released hitler began being more popular and was named chancellor of Germany. Hitler then began his philosophy of purity and spatial expansion in Germany.
Soon later Hitler opened the first concentration camp mainly people who dislikes the nazi party were sent there or if they were communist. Soon after Germany began anti Jewish rallies and book burnings all leading to anti - semitism. Hitler finally invaded Poland soon after. Over the course of the next few years the nazi party began to liquidate Jewish businesses and strip Jewish physicians and lawyers of their licenses. After all this Kristallnacht or the night of broken glass came in which Jews were killed or taken away to concentration camps Jewish stores were smashed and Synagogues were burned. The holocaust had begun and many Jews were gassed, starved, hung, experimented on, or shot it would go down as one of the most cruel events ever in history.
Lieber Großvater und Großmutter,
Das Leben hören bei "out mit" ist schrecklich ich Berlin und alles über sie zu verpassen. Ihr Jungs, meine besten Freunde, und die geschäftigen Leben der Stadt. Das Haus hier ist langweilig, und nicht so viel Spaß wie Berlin gibt es nichts zu tun, oder mit zu spielen, habe ich versucht, einen Reifen-Schaukel zu machen, aber ich verletzte mich mit ihm. Es gibt viel mehr Soldaten in "heraus mit" und sie sehen alle sehr streng. Ich hoffe, ich werde kommen, bald wieder nach Berlin gehen, weil Vater sagt, dass wir "aus mit" für die absehbare Zukunft sein wird. Ich bin mir nicht wirklich sicher, was das bedeutet, aber ich hoffe, es bedeutet, dass wir bald nach Berlin zurückkehren. Vater sieht besser aus als alle anderen Loten und ich kann sehen, warum die Wut große Pläne für ihn hat. Gretel nennt mich immer noch Namen und wird die hoffnungsloser Fall, dass sie immer. Auf der positiven Seite haben wir einen Lehrer, damit ich über Gretel nicht so viele Sorgen. Großmutter Ich habe Ihnen eine weitere Frage stellen, von meinem Fenster aus kann ich viele Menschen in gestreiften Pyjamas sehen, ich frage mich, ob Sie wissen, wer sie sind. Ich hoffe, Sie bald zu sehen
Liebe, Bruno Heil Hitler
Dear grandfather and grandmother,
Listen to Life in "out with" I is terrible and to miss Berlin everything about them. You guys, my best friends, and the bustling city life. The house here is boring, and not as much fun as Berlin there is nothing to do, or to play with, I have tried to make a tire swing, but I hurt myself with him. There are many more soldiers in "out of" and they all look very strict. I hope I will come soon go back to Berlin because Father says we "made with" will be for the foreseeable future. I'm not really sure what that means, but I hope it means that we return to Berlin soon. Father looks better than all other solders and I can see why the anger big plans for him has. Gretel still calls me names and is the basket case that it always. On the positive side, we have a teacher, so I Gretel not worry so much. Grandmother I ask you one more question, from my window I can many people in striped pajamas see, I wonder if you know who they are. I hope to see you soon
Love, Bruno Heil Hitler
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