A pretty interesting book, which I liked for its take on the Holocaust and the perspective that the author chose.
“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” was a very quick read and I think it works well on the level of a fable, but it’s not worth overthinking. There are too many plot holes and oddities to really take seriously, and some things are just laughable. All of those can be looked over, because the book’s subtitle is “A Fable,” but they did get in the way of reading sometimes. Bruno’s innocence took me out of the book and the easy access he had to the camp made me raise an eyebrow or two.
What I did like about it was the way the camp was portrayed; so much about the Holocaust is so sensationalized that it was interesting to see through a child’s eyes, and not a child who was exposed to the suffering within the camp. Also, I liked Bruno’s family’s perspective as a German, Nazi family. It’s a perspective I haven’t read very much about – they’re not sympathetic, certainly, but the fundamentally human aspect of the Nazi regime is something I am interested in.
Ultimately the book is too cutesy and avoidant to really serve a purpose in educating children or adults about the Holocaust. Too many facts are avoided in order for the “twist” to occur at the end. I do think, though, that it was worth the short read.