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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006)

by John Boyne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,243None488 (3.97)306
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  1. 223
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Booksloth, frsantos)
  2. 131
    Night by Elie Wiesel (PghDragonMan)
  3. 113
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (JeaniusOak)
    JeaniusOak: Both equally readable by adults and teens alike
  4. 73
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (JqnOC)
  5. 52
    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (vvstokkom)
    vvstokkom: Ondanks dat het een zwaar onderwerp betreft, leest het net zo makkelijk weg.
  6. 31
    I Am David by Anne Holm (kiwiflowa)
    kiwiflowa: Another pre-teen book about the same topic.
  7. 31
    I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti (alalba)
  8. 10
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (keeneam)
  9. 21
    Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian (kiwiflowa)
    kiwiflowa: Another pre-teen book set in the same era.
  10. 10
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Booksloth)
  11. 00
    Three Knocks on the Wall by Evelyn Sibley Lampman (bookel)
  12. 00
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (keeneam)
  13. 00
    The Baker's Daughter: A Novel by Sarah McCoy (vvstokkom)
    vvstokkom: Written from a point of view of a baker's daughter in Germany. If you liked The boy in the striped pyjama, you will love The Baker's Daughter.
  14. 00
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place in WWII, but in different perspectives.
  15. 11
    Room by Emma Donoghue (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: What connects the books, for me, is the way the story unfolds, with the reader being more clued in as to what is happening around the child at the centre.
  16. 00
    The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books are about young boys who innocently befriend Jewish children imprisoned in concentration camps, without understanding the war or the Holocaust. I would highly recommend both books, especially "The Last Brother."
  17. 11
    The Man from the Other Side by Uri Orlev (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Older and younger versions
  18. 11
    The Shadow Children by Steven Schnur (infiniteletters)
  19. 11
    Hitler and Mars Bars by Dianne Ascroft (shootingstarr7, dsalerni)
  20. 22
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: An intense look at one day in the life of a political prisoner in a concentration camp like environment.

(see all 25 recommendations)


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» See also 306 mentions

English (510)  Spanish (25)  Dutch (22)  German (14)  Catalan (7)  Finnish (6)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Portuguese (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (597)
Showing 1-5 of 510 (next | show all)
I love reading about this period in the history, mostly because it plays a role in my own countrys history.


The book didnt make me cry, the movie did. I would have liked if Bruno's death meant more than it did. It was as if it didnt matter. ( )
  AmandaEmma | Mar 26, 2014 |
I enjoyed this, but I think it's an instance where I enjoyed the story more than the writing, and an even rarer instance where I enjoyed the movie over the book. I'll also note that it was an incredibly quick read for me; nearly 250 pages read in 2 hours and 12 minutes.

There are certain things in this book that seem pretty unlikely for the time period. Often criticized by readers, Bruno is very naive and unaware of much of the political ongoings under the Nazi regime. I too find this very unlikely considering the vast amount of pro-Nazi and anti-Jew propaganda at that time, in addition to the brainwashing and training starting at an early age with Hitler's Youth and such.

That being said, I think this book's value lies not in a solidly accurate picture, but in more of a metaphor of the destruction of innocence that the Holocaust brought to so many. There's no better way to depict this than through the eyes of a child. It also drives home the point that nobody is born a racist; it is something that is not inherent, but learned. Therefore, it is something that can and should be eradicated.

Overall, I'd say skip the book but go watch the movie (it's on Netflix, fyi). You won't be missing anything. The movie is heartwrenching though, you have been warned. ( )
  ashleeeyyy88 | Mar 24, 2014 |
You know the story takes place during WW2 and the ending is most likely not a happy ending but it wasn't the ending that I expected it to be and I really liked that. ( )
  Kraga | Mar 17, 2014 |
Good premise, difficult subject, worthwhile reading. BUT - I just couldn't accept how naive the 9 year old boy was. Had trouble reading it just because of that. Maybe that was the point - how could people be SO oblivious to what was going on around them?
Well, I don't write books and certainly don't have any better suggestion about how to make a book from child's standpoint be on the border, so to speak, of naive yet independent and venturesome.
I'm glad to have read the book and it portrays events in a powerful and meaningful way. Reminds us in a simple yet devastating way of realities we need to never forget.
( )
  CasaBooks | Mar 14, 2014 |
This is a piece of juvenile fiction that I've heard good things about. Set during WWII at Auschwitz concentration camp, the story follows a nine year old boy, son of a high ranking Nazi officer. Their family moves to a new house for his father's job, which he doesn't know much about. He secretly ends up making friends with a boy on the other side of the fence - one who wears the standard uniform from that side... blue striped pajamas.

While I think the viewpoint is interesting and a good one for a children's book on the holocaust, it seemed a little too far-fetched to me. The author portrays children in the book (both 9, 9 and 12) as very naive. While I believe children are naive and probably didn't understand things to the full extent that adults did, for the things they see, I think real children of that age would have had a less simple mindset or take on things. While I understand the author's point that children on both sides were innocent, things that happened in the book I felt were quite unbelievable.

So, while I think it's a good effort, and while it still touched me, for me, this book still fell a little short. 3 of 5 stars. ( )
  lauraodom | Feb 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 510 (next | show all)
"Powerful and unsettling.......As memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank."
added by cvosshans | editUSA Today (Sep 24, 2009)
"Deeply affecting......Beautiful and sparely written"
added by cvosshans | editThe Wall Street Journal (Sep 24, 2009)
added by ianreads | editThe Guardian, Kathryn Hughes (Jan 21, 2006)
Starred Review. "While only hinting at violence, blind hatred, and deplorable conditions, Boyne has included pointed examples of bullying and fearfulness. His combination of strong characterization and simple, honest narrative make this powerful and memorable tale a unique addition to Holocaust literature for those who already have some knowledge of Hitlers Final Solution." Ages 12+.
added by cvosshans | editBookBrowse, School Library Journal - Susan Scheps

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Boyneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonge, Jenny deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jamie Lynch
LJCRS Book Fair Selection 5767
First words
One afternoon, when Bruno came home from school, he was surprised to find Maria, the family's maid--who always kept her head bowed and never looked up from the carpet--standing in his bedroom, pulling all his belongings out of the wardrobe and packing them in four large wooden crates, even the things he'd hidden at the back that belonged to him and were nobody else's business.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Published as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in the UK
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the best book ever
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0198326769, Paperback)

Book Description

This work was set in 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 from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is now a major motion picture (releasing in November 2008). Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see a larger image in a new browser window.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Summary: Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a desolate place called "Out-With" in 1942, nine-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends Shmuel, a boy in striped pyjamas who lives behind a wire fence.

» see all 15 descriptions

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