Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Mini Book Review

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-385-75153-7
Suggested Ages: 11+ due to sensitive issues
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionWhen 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 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.

Mini Book Review: I truly struggle writing reviews about books that are sheer perfection like this one. I am afraid I don`t have the appropriate words to convey that this book I believe is one that every person should read.   Every time I mentioned to people that I was going to read this they gave me the warning that it doesn`t end well but that I had to read it.  They were right - it doesn`t end well but don`t let that stop you.  Such a wonderful story with beautiful moments of humour intertwined with brutal violence written in such a sensitive way.  I read a chapter of this to my son every night before bedtime and it led to some hard conversations but ones that I felt were important. Bruno, although extremely naive, is a beautiful, honest and realistic character.  The relationship and conversations between Bruno and Shmuel are heartbreaking yet honest. Also Boyne should be commended for writing such a poignant story that will rip your heart in two but at the same time give you hope. I recommend this as a book a parent, teacher, or librarian should read aloud to a child and discuss. (BTW - before the last two chapters of the book have a stiff drink so you don`t bawl your eyes out while reading to your child -- trust me!) This was a wonderful bonding experience for me and Jake -- but shhh don`t tell Jake that.

5 Dewey`s 

I purchased this to read to my 11 yr old after a disturbing incident at his old school Ontario.  Short explanation - son told me a `joke`` he heard at school about the Holocaust.  Friends suggested this would be a perfect and age appropriate story to read to him and discuss


  1. This is such a beautiful book. I agree - it's a great one to read with your kids/at school because it lends itself well to discussion.

    1. Exactly! Thanks for stopping by Christa!!!

  2. I checked the audio out of the library out of the library and let my hubby listen to it first. And then I had to return it :( He raved about it so I do need to take another look.

    1. Damn Stacy - go back and get it such a wonderfully simple yet complex story

  3. The book is so amazing had to see your review and I agree with you here - it is so wonderfully done it is hard to put into words. Be sure and see the movie now, it is also well done.

    How awful to think there are Holocaust jokes...

    1. I know I couldn't believe it either. There are just some things that are not funny. I am glad he came home and mentioned it though as now he understands.