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As I searched my rickety bookshelf for a good read the other day, I came across The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. I’ve read it before and saw the movie but decided to give it another crack.

In case you didn’t already know, the John Boyne novel tells the story of nine-year-old Bruno, the son of a soldier involved in the brutality of the German Holocaust. Oblivious to Bruno, he makes a new friend who is facing certain death when the family move to a desolate home in Berlin. The only thing separating the pair is a high fence and strangely, nine-year-old Shmuel is always wearing striped pyjamas when the two meet.

The book is raw in its childhood innocence as Bruno realises good friend Shmuel is a Jew, being kept in a concentration camp under Hitler’s rule, manned by Bruno’s father. This fact seems insignificant though and his love of adventure concludes a bitter, terrible end.

Reading through the summary you must think to yourself, what a sad, depressing read; but don’t disregard this book just yet. The story, which is told from a child’s point of view, is an eye opener with a different angle to one of the most horrific events in history and if you haven’t read it yet, you really should.


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