Book Reviews

The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas


The story is set in Germany during the Nazi rule. It is about a family of four who lives in Berlin. Bruno a 9-year-old boy is the protagonist and the narrator. His father is an army commandant, his mother a housewife and his sister who we get to learn that they do not always get along. One day Bruno comes to his room to find their servant packing his belongings.

The family moves from Berlin to another town where his father has been reassigned. Bruno does not like that he has to move homes. After the move, he misses his friends. His new home is different from Berlin, it’s a neighbourhood that does not have other children to play with. His home shares a fence with a concentration camp. One day, Bruno decided to go exploring.

Along the way, he meets another boy his age in stripped pyjamas named Shmuel, seated on the other side of the fence. His innocence does not make him realize that his new friend is a Jew in a concentration camp. One thing that stood out between the two friends is that they were born in the same year on the same day!

The book gives you an interesting twist from the point of view of a young person and kind of lives in a bubble oblivious from the reality of the situation at hand. The book is such a short read but very impactful. It ends in a way that nobody really expects. This left me with mixed feelings. I am looking forward to watching the movie.

Description (as described on Google)

During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father has just become commandant. Unhappy and lonely, he wanders out behind his house one day and finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy of his age. Though the barbed-wire fence of the camp separates them, the boys begin a forbidden friendship, oblivious to the real nature of their surroundings.


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4 thoughts on “The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas

  1. I’m wondering what you mean about mixed feelings. You have me curious about the book! I’ve read several on this time period lately and this one sounds worthwhile. Nice review.

    1. Thanks, Holly. I was distressed, angry and sad at the how the book ended and how the events turned out. It is a really good book. I recommend it. You should read it.

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