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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Updated on February 5, 2015

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is essentially a children's book, dealing with adult themes.

I picked it up in a bookstore, and all that was on the front cover, was stripes. I didn't have a clue what it was about. I feel quite fortunate about that, as I had a different experience to those who may have seen alternative book jackets, or the recent film that came out.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is so well told, as the story starts to unfold. Told from the perspective of a young child who doesn't quite understand their environment, or what is happening...their descriptions are innocent, and that is where the tragic charm this book delivers starts. I read it one sitting, on a flight across the atlantic. When I finished, I felt that I had read something profound and important, and I just wanted to hug someone.

I hope you find my Boy in the Striped Pyjamas book review helpful...in the never-ending quest for the next book to read (you'll also find links to buy the book, to help make your life easier).

Photo credit: Amazon.com

This is one of those books that makes you think about life - it's affirming and makes you think about what you have, and just how lucky we are and how much we take for granted.

Buy "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne...it will be the best book you've read this year!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The beauty of this book is that the story is fantastically and creatively told. It's a very easy read and it contains themes that will stay with you a long time after you've finished the book. If I could make some sort of law, whereby you had to read this book in the next year, I would - I really believe it's that good!

I found The Boy in the Striped Pajamas so beautifully written. As the book is told through the eyes on a 9 year old, Bruno - we are never really given the whole facts about something, as he is too young to understand the complexity of his surroundings. His naivity is used as a literary device to mislead us. He describes things with such non-chalance, that someone with more years, who understands, wouldn't be able to without noting the serious nature of what is before him (sorry, about the vagueness - trying really hard not to spoil it for you).

 

"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" - What Did I Think?

I found The Boy in the Striped Pajamas very accessible, and so very tenderly written by John Boyne - writer of such books as The Thief of Time and Next of Kin. Notably, his work has also been translated into seventeen languages! I feel bad classifying The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as a children's book - as I was reading, I began to feel that its themes were perhaps more provocative for adults, I'm not sure if young minds could fully appreciate the profundity of what happens - I suppose that's half of its charm.

John Boyne's Pajamas Story will captivate you...

I'm not planning on giving anything away, so all I'm going to say about what The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is about, is this... The book is told from the perspective of Bruno, a 9 year old boy. He has to move home, once he is settled, he meets a boy, coinidentally the same age as well as the same birthday as him. It's like they could have been twins. In their life, they share a fence. That's all I'm saying.


John Boyne's "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" will move you...

When I started reading the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I wouldn't say I was totally captivated. It was interesting, so I didn't stop - but suddenly as I got towards the end of the book, the plot raced towards me like a bullet train, making my heart race and emotions turn. Again, I hate to describe this book as a children's book - it's so much more than that. Elements of the book shocked me, the ending of the book moved me.

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" should be used in Schools!

It wouldn't surprise me if this book gets taken on as a set text in schools. As a comparison to other texts and books set around the same time, it stands up significantly. Be sure to check out the other recommendations to go with this book, along the right hand side of this page.

I really hope this book becomes a true classic of young literature, it certainly deserves to be. It would be a tragedy if this book remained on bookshelves, forgotten and faded into the distance. I'm so happy I've had the privilege to read this book.

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is excellent for developing readers

The paperback is only 216 pages. This may sound like a lot, but there is not a great deal of text on each page - so for any child or young adult looking for books that won't make them feel intimidated by the amount of text on a page, this book is ideal!

If you like TBITSP, you might also like this...

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

Another book telling the story of a young child in wartime. War doesn't get the best of Lisle though, we learn her struggles and her courage and she faces a very difficult childhood.

 

What do you think? Have you read "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas"? Do you think you will now?

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    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @malena10: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is phenomenal! Amazing story - John Boyne is such a great author!

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 5 years ago

      I have watched the movie, but i believe book is better. Great story!

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      A really good novel. Movie is as equally good.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @lynnasafriend: I agree, definitely something to learn from this amazing book. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 5 years ago

      Very strong and moving novel, a must read for sure. In fact you will probably learn something here.

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      I havn't read the book, but the movie was good.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I loved this story. You told about it so well.

    • profile image

      aiclogcabins 5 years ago

      Really good book and it does make you think about what happens at the end for a good long time after you finish it

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Pam Irie: You're very welcome. Pleased I can pass a good recommendation on :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I definitely will read this now. Thank you for the recommendation.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @anonymous: Sounds like you need to get yourself a copy :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't remember where I first heard about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but for some reason I only remember reading the plot of it on Wikipedia and crying some. It seems like such a good story that I really wish I could read it!

    • january962 profile image

      january962 5 years ago

      I didn't read the book yet, but i watched the movie. I cried like a baby...

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      It does sound like it's worth reading.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 5 years ago from Guatemala

      I would like to read this book. We actually have the DVD, but I've never seen it.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @bwet: Hi Bwet, nope, I've not seen The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas movie - I'm not too sure if I want to yet, the book left such a great impression on me, I'm worried incase the film ruins it for me...although I must say, I've never heard anything but praise for the film version. Thanks for visiting :)

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      definitely agree that this novel is a great read. Have you seen the movie?

    • profile image

      AngelaKane 5 years ago

      The fist time I heard of this book was when I watched the movie on cable. I liked the movie a lot and I am going to read the book on Kindle this winter.

    • HalloweenRecipes profile image

      HalloweenRecipes 5 years ago

      I saw this movie and it moved me. I am a bit surprised that it is a child's book, the plot seems a bit intense for children. The film is well done and it makes you think about what happened in it when it's over. Very sweet children, their innocence and a harsh picture of the ugly world they lived in. This is a film I will never forget. Thanks for the lens.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @JohnTannahill: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is absolutely worth checking out. Yes, there are so many books out there that are "so much more than Children's books", look at His Dark Materials, and of course Harry Potter. TBITSP is one of those books that will undoubtedly live on as a book that had a very wide readership appeal. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I've seen the film and was very touched by it.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I agree with RoadMonkey about the children's book genre - they're demanding readers and often a great book that's popular with them is a must for us adults. Just think Harry Potter. Great lens - never read or heard of the book but I'll look out for it.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 years ago

      I read the book quite some time ago. It is a classic and very well written. Don't feel sorry for classifying it as a children's book. Some of the best literature around is classed as children's books and they are still excellent reads for adults.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I haven't read the book but did see the movie. It really haunted me for days. Thanks for your review.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      This movie was recommended to me by my brother and I must say it was very moving. The innocence of the storyline in the eyes of the boy made it a pleasant movie, yet with a sad ending. I will have to check out the book as several scenes in the movie may have deviated from the book. Thanks for sharing.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @RazzbarryBreeze: Thanks Razzbarry - I really should see the film, I don't want anything to taint the book for me though, lol. Have a great day too :)

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 5 years ago

      I saw this movie and I completely agree with you... It does make you think about what you have! I would like to read the book as well. Thanks for sharing your lens . Great job here! Have a great day.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Rosaquid: Moving is a very good word to describe The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Monica Ranstrom: Do drop by and let me know what you think of it :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @fivee05 lm: I can't recommend it highly enough...and you can tell from my review, lol

    • fivee05 lm profile image

      fivee05 lm 5 years ago

      This seems like a good read.

    • Monica Ranstrom profile image

      Monica Ranstrom 5 years ago

      I haven't read it but just added it to my list of books to read! Thank you for a well written lens!

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      My children were deeply moved by this book when they read it.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Sharlee01: Absolutely. I was really surprised how accessible, and good a read "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" was. Glad you enjoyed the read :)

    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharon Stajda 5 years ago from Shelby Township Michigan

      This is a wonderful book, once you start reading it, you can't put it down.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @squidoogiftsfor: If ever you get chance to read it, you must! I thoroughly recommend it. The way Bruno's innocence is portrayed by the way he describes everything is excellent. I hope you enjoyed the movie :)

    • squidoogiftsfor profile image

      squidoogiftsfor 5 years ago

      Haven't read the book but watched the movie, don't tend to do both!

    • profile image

      leonasharon 5 years ago

      I watched the movie.

      I loved it.

      I would definitely read the book one day.

      Lovely lens

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @anonymous: Cool thanks for that recommendation. I'm intrigued to see how it would translate to film...the The Boy In The Striped Pajamas book is amazing!

    • profile image

      Neerjas-Kitchen 5 years ago

      @Joan Haines: Really a very nice book

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I haven't read the book yet, but I would love to sometime. I saw the movie a few years back, and didn't know what it was really about before watching it either. I would highly recommend the movie!

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Coreena Jolene: Thanks very much. Don't forget to let me know what you think of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas :)

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this and not giving things away. I have not read it or seen the movie but I plan to now. Congrats on your purple star.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @Ruthi: Thanks for your comment. Yet to see the film, but the book made such an impression on me - it's nice feeling knowing that I'm not the only one to love it, lol

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I have read the book and seen the movie of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. Both are fantastic. I highly recommend the book, just as you do here.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I haven't read the book but did see the movie. It's incredibly sad and poignant.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @MaryThereseBenn: I thoroughly recommend it. Thanks for stopping by Mary

    • MaryThereseBenn profile image

      MaryThereseBenn 5 years ago

      Now I want to read it

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @ismeedee: I've not seen the film, so I would be interested to see how it translates. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @aksem: You definitely should! It's excellent. And so simple.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @marigoldina: Hi Heather, I think it would be fine for kids. There's nothing graphic or even scary in it. Small kids won't understand what's going on, and will enjoy the relationship and friendship between the 2 boys. I think it's only the adults that would have a hard time with it (like me, lol) :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @OhMe: Thanks OhMe, I think it would certainly lead a lot of conversations. Hope you enjoy it

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Seen the film. Amazingly heart warming story.

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 5 years ago

      Thank you. I should read "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas".

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      I liked this book but I don't know how appropriate it would be for kids, especially sensitive ones. A thorough and thoughtful review :-)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is a super review and makes me want to purchase the book right now. In fact, I think I will. My grandson (12 yrs old) and I enjoy reading the same books so we can talk about them and this sure sounds like something we would both enjoy and would stir up a lot of conversation. Thank you.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      It sure does sound like a book worth reading to me!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I have read it. Excellent. Get it.