Allie (edith_jones) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 4 for 2012

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, 2006, 216 pages.

This well-written and surprising book written for teens had the unexpected effect of making me cry at the ending, and I am not spoiling things by telling you that the end of the book is a real shock. If you don't like crying when you read, avoid this one.

Other than the effect on my tear ducts, I thought that this was an excellent story, beautifully-written and painful. It is about a young boy in the early 1940s whose father is a higher-up in the Nazi forces. The boy, Bruno, relates to the reader his life in Berlin and then, when his father's work is moved, about his impressions of his life there. Bruno is extremely naive, being only a youngster, and his naivete (spelling?) is stark against the background of evil in which he finds himself. I liked the book because Bruno is such a likeable character, and I like how you figure out what's going on almost as slowly as Bruno does. Boyne does a great job of letting secrets be kept from the reader and from his fictional character. I also have a deep fondness for young adult literature if it's done well. This is a book that I can recommend highly.
Tags: historical fiction, teen lit

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