The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
This is a piece of juvenile fiction that I’ve heard good things about. Set during WWII at Auschwitz concentration camp, the story follows a nine year old boy, son of a high ranking Nazi officer. Their family moves to a new house for his father’s job, which he doesn’t know much about. He secretly ends up making friends with a boy on the other side of the fence – one who wears the standard uniform from that side… blue striped pajamas.
While I think the viewpoint is interesting and a good one for a children’s book on the holocaust, it seemed a little too far-fetched to me. The author portrays children in the book (both 9, 9 and 12) as very naive. While I believe children are naive and probably didn’t understand things to the full extent that adults did, for the things they see, I think real children of that age would have had a less simple mindset or take on things. While I understand the author’s point that children on both sides were innocent, things that happened in the book I felt were quite unbelievable.
So, while I think it’s a good effort, and while it still touched me, for me, this book still fell a little short. 3 of 5 stars.