The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

I feel like one of the few people who never saw the movie adaptation of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas when it came out. I had completely forgotten about this book until I stumbled onto it earlier this week in the library. Honestly, I was a little concerned about how well the subject of World War II and the holocaust would be handled – I’ve read a few books that romanticized the topic. Thankfully, this book treated the subject with dignity and respect that the subject demands. Further – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a beautifully written, fascinating coming-of-age tale of a German boy set in the most horrifying of settings.

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

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