John Boyne, is a writer of novels for adult and younger readers. This book is one for the younger readers and got many awards or has been on many shortlists for awards. One of the many is the Irish Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, and lots others Book of the Year awards. This book also is made to film, which also won awards.

The story evolves around a nine-year old boy named Bruno, during the second World War. Do to his young age, he does not understand what is happening around him personally or in the country. He lives with his father, a commander, his mother and his sister Gretel, who live in Berlin, Germany.

The story:
Bruno finds a maid packing his belongings, his mother explains to him that his father got a new job. Some days later Bruno, his mother en Gretel move to a new house called Out-With, his father already went up ahead. Bruno does not like the new house, but during unpacking he looks outside a window in his room. There he sees a big iron wire fence, hold up with poles and having barded wire on top and seeing people behind it. Bruno finds those people got one thing in common, they all wear grey striped pyjamas. One day Bruno goes out to explore, reading a plaque on a bench saying 'Presented on the occasion of the opening of Out-With camp. 1940’ and then walks on to were he is forbidden to go. After a walk of over an hour he finds a boy sitting near the fence, whom seem sad and so Bruno talks to him finding out this boy got the same birthday as he has and so got the same age. This is a start of an unlikely friendship, which will change Bruno’s life and how he see things.

Took some time reading this book, taking some breathers in between the chapters because this story is beautiful. John Boyne mixes a serious message with drama and fun making the story lighter. So while reading you find yourself blinking a tear or laugh for a while. Boyne did not add details if they are not necessary for the story and so you got to imagine things yourself. Boyne also makes see what is going on in Bruno’s mind, his innocence about the things happening and how he changes over the passing time. After reading this with a lot of pleasure, I would recommend it being read by everyone.

Reacties op: Innocence in a time of war, beautifully told on a light way

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