Bruno is a normal 9 year old boy who lives in Berlin with his parents and his sister, Gretel. Bruno lives in a wondrous 5 level house and likes his home, but he soon finds out he will be leaving soon. Bruno quickly decides he doesn’t like his new home. There are no other boys on the street to... read more
Bruno is a nine-year old boy who is growing up in Berlin during World War II. He lives in a 5-story house with his parents, his 12 year old sister Gretel and a few servants. His father has a very important job and they have just been visited by a man called the 'Fury' (aka Hitler). After he... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Bruno is a nine-year old boy who is growing up in Berlin during World War II. He lives in a 5-story house with his parents, his 12 year old sister Gretel and a few servants. His father has a very important job and they have just been visited by a man called the 'Fury' (aka Hitler). After he visits, his father gets a new uniform and his title is changed to 'Commandant', and to Bruno's displeasure the family has to move away to a place called Out-With (Auschwitz).
When Bruno gets there he is immediately homesick after leaving behind his home, grandparents, and his three best friends. He is unhappy with his new home. It only has three floors and there are always soldiers going in and out the house as it belonged to them. Bruno is lonely and has no one to talk to or play with. However, one day while Bruno is looking out of his window he notices a bunch of people all wearing the same striped pajamas and that they are all living behind a big fence next to his house and garden. As he is a curious child, Bruno asks his father who these people are, but gets a rather unusual answer. His father tells him that these people are not people at all.
Due to sheer curiosity and boredom, he is soon willing to explore the house and its surroundings. As he walks the fence he spots a dot in the distance on the other side and as he gets closer, he discover that this dot is actually a boy. Excited by the prospect of a friend, Bruno introduces himself. The Jewish boy's name is Shmuel. Almost every day now, they meet at the same spot and talk. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, Bruno decides to climb under the fence and explore Shmuel's world.
The story ends with Bruno being about to go back to Berlin with his mother and sister on the orders of his father. As a final adventure, he agrees to dress in a set of striped pajamas and enters the other side of the fence to help Shmuel find his father, who went missing in the camp. The boys are unable to find him, and just as it starts to rain and get dark, Bruno decides he would like to go home, but they are rounded up in a crowd of people by the Nazi guards who start them on a march. Neither boy knows where this march will lead. However, they are soon crowded into a gas chamber, which Bruno assumes is a place to keep them dry from the rain until it stops. The author leaves the story with Bruno pondering, yet unafraid, in the dark holding hands with Shmuel. "...Despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go".
In an epilogue, Bruno's family spend several months at their home trying to find Bruno, before his mother and Gretel return to Berlin, only to discover he is not there as they had expected. A year afterwards, his father returns to the spot where the soldiers found Bruno's clothes (the same spot Bruno spent the last year of his life) and, after a brief inspection, discovers that the fence is not properly attached at the base and can form a gap big enough for a boy of Bruno's size to fit through. Using this information, his father eventually pieces together that they gassed Bruno to death. Several months later, the Red Army arrives to liberate the camp and orders Bruno's father to go with them. He goes without complaint, because "he didn't really mind what they did to him anymore" .
Source: Wikipedia, backed up with my own knowledge of the book.
“In fact everywhere he looked, all he could see was two different types of people: either happy, laughing, shouting soldiers in their uniforms or unhappy, crying people in their striped pajamas, most of whom seemed to be staring into space as if they were actually asleep.”
“...it doesn't matter whether I do or don't. They're not my best friends anymore anyway. You're my best friend, Shmuel. My best friend for life.”Bruno
“"Who decides who wears pajamas and who doesn't?"”Bruno
“The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered.”Bruno
“Those people.... well, they're not people at all, Bruno.”Father
“'Heil Hitler,' he said, which, he presumed, was another way of saying, 'Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.'”
“We don't have the luxury of thinking ... Some people make all the decisions for us.”Mother
“So we’re here at Out-With because someone said out with the people before us?”Bruno to Gretel
“We should never have let the Fury come to dinner.”Brunos Mother
“He pushed his two feet together and shot his right arm into the air before clicking his two heels together and saying in as deep and clear a voice as possible – as much like Father's as he could manage – the words he said every time he left a soldier's presence. ‘Heil Hitler,’ he said, which, he presumed, was another way of saying, ‘Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.’”Bruno
What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?Highlighted by 221 Kindle customers
‘Ah, those people,’ said Father, nodding his head and smiling slightly. ‘Those people … well, they're not people at all, Bruno.’Highlighted by 209 Kindle customers
And one final thought came into her brother's head as he watched the hundreds of people in the distance going about their business, and that was the fact that all of them – the small boys, the big boys, the fathers, the grandfathers, the uncles, the people who lived on their own on everybody's road but didn't seem to have any relatives at all – were wearing the same clothes as each other: a pair of grey striped pajamas with a grey striped cap on their heads.Highlighted by 169 Kindle customers
‘Heil Hitler,’ he said, which, he presumed, was another way of saying, ‘Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.’Highlighted by 162 Kindle customers
Accept the situation in which you find yourself and everything will be so much easier.’Highlighted by 155 Kindle customers
He put his face to the glass and saw what was out there, and this time when his eyes opened wide and his mouth made the shape of an O, his hands stayed by his sides because something made him feel very cold and unsafe.Highlighted by 148 Kindle customers
We must all just keep ourselves safe until this is all over. That's what I intend to do anyway. What more can we do than that after all? It's not up to us to change things.’Highlighted by 137 Kindle customers
‘Well, because Germany is the greatest of all countries,’ Bruno replied, remembering something that he had overheard Father discussing with Grandfather on any number of occasions. ‘We're superior.’Highlighted by 129 Kindle customers
‘We should never have let the Fury come to dinner,’ she said. ‘Some people and their determination to get ahead.’Highlighted by 123 Kindle customers
He heard one last thing before going upstairs and that was Mother's last line to the waiter who claimed to be a doctor. ‘If the Commandant asks, we'll say that I cleaned Bruno up.’Highlighted by 116 Kindle customers
1. Bruno Makes a Discovery
2. The New House
3. The Hopeless Case
4. What They Saw Through the Window
5. Out of Bounds at All Times and No Exceptions
6. The Overpaid Maid
7. How Mother Took Credit for Something That She Hadn't Done
8. Why Grandmother Stormed Out
9. Bruno Remembers That He Used to Enjoy Exploration
10. The Dot That Became a Speck That Became a Blob That Became a Figure That Became a Boy
11. The Fury
12. Shmuel Thinks of an Answer to Bruno's Question
13. The Bottle of Wine
14. Bruno Tells a Perfectly Reasonable Lie
15. Something He Shouldn't Have Done
16. The Haircut
17. Mother Gets Her Own Way
18. Thinking Up the Final Adventure
19. What Happened the Next Day
20. The Last Chapter
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