The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne, is a fable about the horrors of World War II and Nazi concentration camps. It is told from the viewpoint of eleven-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer. When his father is given the job of overseeing the Auschwitz concentration camp, Bruno's family relocates from Berlin to Auschwitz. Through his friendship with a young Jewish prisoner, a boy named Shmuel, he learns about life on "the other side of the fence"- in the concentration camp- and about Shmuel's former life in Poland. The boys form a bond over their shared displacement and lonliness. In the end, Bruno disguises himself as a prisoner, slips through the fence, and ends up dying with Shmuel in the gas chambers. Although Bruno's naivete seems unrealistic at times, the book carries an important message about the value of life and the horrors of war and genocide.

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