The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells the story of Bruno, a young boy whose father works at Auschwitz. Bruno knows very little about Auschwitz or what his father does; he only knows that he is separated from all of the people behind the fence. He strikes up a friendship with another boy on the other side of the fence, which provides much-needed companionship for them both. This book is told solely from Bruno's relentlessly innocent perspective, which is frustrating for the wise reader who wants him to face the reality of what's happening. It's unflinching, and you won't be able to turn away, even as you can see what's going to happen. I don't recommend this for younger readers, but it will be impactful for pre-teens or young teens who can handle it.
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Berlin, 1942: When 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 to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people 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 from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.