Monday 10 November 2008

Teen Novel

Finished Nov 7
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
This is a book that is disturbing. The main character is a 9-year-old boy, Bruno, whose father is a commandant in the German army during World War II. Bruno and his family move from Berlin to a house out in the country. The only things around it are woods and a fenced-in area that Bruno can see from his room. Bruno is lonely and misses his friends from Berlin. His sister, Gretel, is a few years older and not a willing playmate for him. He decides to go adventuring, as he plans to be an explorer when he grows up, and during his first adventure finds a new friend.
As the book follows Bruno's life, we also see the situation and the people around him from his point of view. At the age of nine, and naive, he doesn't truly understand the nature of his father's job, or what is going on in the world. This makes his viewpoint interesting and I think is what really grabs you about the book. As the reader, we understand more than Bruno and yet can see how he would interpret things as he does.
This book is aimed at teens, and older children will be okay with it, particularly if they are engaged in discussion about the book.

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