Just Finished: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

One of the members of my book club added this to our bookshelf (making it eligible to be a future selection by other members), and I’ve heard a lot about it and have been wanting to read it, so I went ahead and did.

It’s a short book, and I finished it in just two days. Set in Germany & Poland during WW2, it’s the story of a nine-year old boy whose father is a Nazi soldier who is reassigned as commandant of the Auschwitz death camp.  Though forbidden to ‘explore’ around their new house near the camp, the boy (Bruno) begins to take walks along the long, high fence that borders the camp.  On one of his walks he encounters his counterpart on the other side of the fence.  Another 9-year old boy (Shmuel) who coincidentally shares his birthday.  They become friends and eventually, when Bruno’s father decides to move his Wife and children back to Berlin, tragedy strikes.  I won’t spoil it, but be wary of this book if you can’t handle heartbreak…

A movie based upon this book was prominent in the Heartland Film Festival (an annual event in Indianapolis) last year.

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