The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Opening Sentence:

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.


The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the jacket, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about.

If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter such a fence.


Historical Fiction














When nine-year-old Bruno’s father is ordered by the Fury to take command of Out-With, his entire family moves along with him. Bored, and missing his three best-friends-for-life, Bruno has no-one to play with but his older, and meaner sister, Gretel. Until one day, he decides to go exploring. After a while, he finds a new friend to talk to, though they cannot play together.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a brilliant book that is well worth reading. Seeing history through the eyes of a confused child, we are able to view events with a fresh perspective. This is one of those books that will have you thinking long after you finish reading.

If you read nothing else this year, read this.

Categories: Impressions

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