Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Dalissyana Al-Hisnawi, Writer

My favorite book of all time is by far The Boy in The Striped Pajamas.  This novel gives us a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. For me, there are the few things that make this novel such an amazing read.

The tragic events that occur throughout this novel are illustrated through the innocent eyes of the character Bruno, the clueless son of a Nazi soldier. Bruno and his family move out of their hometown in Berlin for “Daddy’s work” to a place called ‘out with’… famously known as Auschwitz. Bruno finds the new home occasionally rains ashes and this is unsettling to him. He has no friends near his new home. He spends his days doing anything he can to keep him occupied.

One day, Bruno notices he can see ‘the children on the farm’ in the distance from his bedroom window. He is warned to stay away from the “farm”, but he is curious. Bruno is more interested in making friends and so he sneaks out to the “farm” and is greeted by a tall gate with wire above it.

At the gate, Bruno sees a pale, bald boy, about the same age as Bruno. The boy, Shmuel, is wearing striped pajamas. He is a prisoner of Auschwitz.

Even though these boys are on the opposite sides of the fence, on opposite sides of this historic time, they end up becoming very good friends.

I recommend this book for anyone who knows the basic history and takes interest in the dark and devastating events that occurred. This book isn’t a long read. There are 21 short chapters, yet every chapter is filled with scenes that propel the plot forward. It is an intriguing read.

I think that paying attention to the deeper meaning of the story is an important part of this novel. We need to pay attention to the innocent victims and clueless witnesses of this time period of history. Pay attention the morals and relevant opinions in this book.