The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a fictional story based on real events in history
A BOOK REVIEW by Charlie Gilbert
Bruno is a nine year old boy from Berlin. He lives with his older sister Gretel and his mother and father. The story begins in 1943 when Bruno comes home to find the maid, Maria, packing his clothes. Bruno’s father has an important new job as Commandant which means the family have to move away. The new house is not very nice and Bruno misses his friends Carl, Daniel and Martin. Bruno is curious about the people wearing striped pyjamas over the fence. Bruno hears the name of his new house and thinks it is called Out-With. Bruno’s father has a boss he thinks is called the Fury who comes to visit. Bruno’s father is very strict and doesn’t spend much time with him. One day exploring Bruno finds a little boy sitting by the fence, they become secret friends. Bruno learns a lot from his new friend Shmuel and that he no longer lives in Germany but Poland. Shmuel is the same age as Bruno but is very skinny and always sad.
This book was easy to read and I enjoyed reading about the two boys becoming friends. I was interested in the history of the story, about how people lived and about World War Two. The story was slow in some chapters especially about the sister Gretel. Gretel is so mean to Bruno. At the end of the book it explained the background to the story and I found out that Bruno was actually living next to Auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camps where over one million people were killed during World War Two and also that Bruno’s father was working for the Fuhrer which was actually Hitler. Bruno doesn’t understand anything about Nazis, concentration camps or war and couldn’t understand why Shmuel couldn’t come out and play.
I think the author wanted people to know what life was like in the concentration camp and to show that some people didn’t know what was going on even though they lived next door. At the end the writer says that this all happened a long time ago and that nothing like this could ever happen again but in some countries it still does. We see on the news people who are put in jail or killed for looking different or believing in God. The author wants people to stop and think before something like this happens again.
The ending of this story was sad but I felt happy that the friends were together. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy history. I liked the interesting facts at the back of the book and reading about the author. This book is described as a fable which is a fiction story with a moral.