I am on the Diversity Events committee at work and agreed to check out this book, "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne, to see if it was something we could do a book review on. Wow. I don't like to rave too much about a book for fear of "over-selling" this, but I honestly think every person should read this book. It is incredibly powerful and moving. It's very easy to read and very easy to get into, so seriously, go to your local library/bookstore/etc and check this book out. (For my co-workers that read this, check it out of the library - I better see you at the book review I'll be hosting in March!)
The book is written from the perspective of Bruno, a nine-year-old boy. It uses the language of a 9-year-old boy, but don't confuse this for a children's book, because it's not. Bruno's father is a high-ranking Nazi officer with direct contact with Hitler. Early in the book, we find out that Bruno's father has just been asked to move their family to "Out-With," as Bruno refers to it. I'm sure anyone with any knowledge of Concentration camps can figure out what "Out-With" stands for.
Soon after moving to Out-With, Bruno gets bored and decides to search around for some potential playmates. He meet Shmuel, a 9 yo boy that lives inside the Concentration Camp. The two become fast friends and meet each day to talk. Bruno doesn't really understand why all those people are living within the walls of the camp and is actually jealous of Shmuel since there are thousands of little boys that are Shmuel's age. At one point, Bruno asks his father why all those people live within the walls of the camp and his father responds by saying something like, 'Oh, Bruno, those aren't people.'
Now that I have read the book, I plan on seeing the movie - probably while all the other Americans are enjoying the Superbowl! If you read it, let me know what you think!