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Boy in the striped pyjamas

(73 Posts)
Tomselleckhaskindeyes Wed 12-Feb-20 18:07:00

I’ll admit I have not read the book but I am trying to find something for my children to read that is thought provoking. They know about the Holocaust in general terms but not the horrible details. What age group would be best for this book?

gerbo Wed 12-Feb-20 18:09:14

I just read this as an adult. It's a wonderful book. My dd, now 11, read it I think in year 5 so she was 9/10.

I think for me that's probably the earliest I'd offer it, as it's a grown up theme, although it's written beautifully as a fable - very simple text but knocks you over with the ending.

It's a quick read- two or three evenings? You could read and see?

Tomselleckhaskindeyes Wed 12-Feb-20 18:20:13

Yes I will order it. I have watched the film version of it but I know you can.’the use it to gauge the book.

Soontobe60 Wed 12-Feb-20 18:22:32

My DDs read it in Year 6. It started off her passion for World War 2 history!

CallofDoodee Wed 12-Feb-20 18:23:10

I haven't read the book but I thought the film was fucking awful and so offensive to Jewish people!

ArnoldBee Wed 12-Feb-20 18:26:53

I read when Hitler stole pink rabbit by judith Kerr when I was a child. It seems these authors have been forgotten.

LoopyGremlin Wed 12-Feb-20 18:36:55

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a fictional novel and definitely not recommended by Holocaust charities. holocaustlearning.org.uk/latest/the-problem-with-the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas/
The Diary of Anne Frank might be better.

formerbabe Wed 12-Feb-20 18:39:37

My ds read it when he was in year six

Weathermonger Wed 12-Feb-20 19:16:12

"I Am Rosemarie" by Marietta Moskin. I read it as a child, and it is a story that has stayed with me over 40 years later.

CallofDoodee Wed 12-Feb-20 19:21:56

very simple text but knocks you over with the ending.

What is it exactly that 'knocks you over' at the end?

bookworm14 Wed 12-Feb-20 19:28:11

It’s an offensive and historically inaccurate book. Read this: www.google.co.uk/amp/s/teachinghistorymatters.com/2016/11/07/why-i-loathe-the-boy-in-the-striped-pajamas/amp/

corythatwas Wed 12-Feb-20 19:35:10

I thought it was a ghastly book and the link posted by LoopyGremlin spells it out very clearly. The assumption is that we will only be able to empathise with an Aryan boy, the Jewish victims (including the boy befriended by the hero) have no personality, the boy's death is treated as a tragic accident (but hey, if it hadn't happened, we'd have been fine), our focus is on the grief of the German camp commander family, the son of a Nazi camp commander would never have heard of Jews (or been in the Hitler Jugend), the camp is so easy to get into a 9yo boy can do it and escape notice, yet the adult Jewish men and women can't work out that they could dig a tunnel...

RevealTheHiddenBeach Wed 12-Feb-20 19:38:24

How old are your kids? Also thoroughly recommend the "once" series, we use that in y 5/6

HasaDigaEebowai Wed 12-Feb-20 19:39:25

mine did the boy in the striped pyjamas in year 7 English

eavers Wed 12-Feb-20 19:41:48

I think its an awful book so much wrong with it.

mumofpickles Wed 12-Feb-20 20:49:22

I agree with the suggestions of the once /then books and when Hitler stole pink rabbit trilogy both fine from y5/6. Not striped pyjamas I won't teach it to my class as its not factually correct

CommunistLegoBloc Wed 12-Feb-20 22:03:44

It is a terrible book littered with inaccuracies. You might be able to get away with that in other fiction but fgs you don't do it with a topic like the Holocaust. The writer had the gall to tweet about the proliferation of Holocaust fiction a few weeks ago, and was roundly admonished by the Auschwitz memorial museum.

Second Judith Kerr. Wonderful trilogy.

squaky Wed 12-Feb-20 22:30:40

Sala's Gift

ginandbearit Wed 12-Feb-20 23:38:22

I think one of the reasons Boy in the striped pyjamas does work and is valid is that many people unconsciously see Jews as 'other' , and the Holocaust as something that happened to people like 'them ' , not 'us'...so to include a non Jewish character may allow a closer identification with the suffering of the Jews
HOWEVER ... In the film I was utterly distaught at the small Jewish boy and his terror, loneliness and appearance. the bonding with the German boy just highlighted the universality of humanity and the arbitrary nature of Nazi cruelty ...the fact that a non Jewish boy died too didnt make it any more powerful for me...it was the essence of two small humans finding solace and then being killed by overwhelming evil that illustrated a greater truth for me .
There are plenty of inaccurate aspects to the film but it , for me , works as a parable not a documentary.

PotholeParadise Thu 13-Feb-20 01:40:06

For me, the whole OutWith thing, where a little German boy can't pronounce a German place-name (Auschwitz is the German name for a Polish town) and mishears it as some English words (in a way that doesn't make sense because a German W=English V), epitomises how shallow and thoughtless the plotting is.

katy1213 Thu 13-Feb-20 01:59:59

I loathed this book. I'm sure its author meant well, but it's wrong on so many levels. Anne Frank's Diary would be better. Or Other People's Houses (Lore Segal). When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is good but Judith Kerr was fortunate enough to get out in the early 1930s. Anyway, these are all first person accounts, not written for maudlin entertainment like Striped Pyjamas.

joystir59 Thu 13-Feb-20 02:24:13

Diary Of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a heart breaking true account of Jewish life under the murderous Nazi regime. Boy in Striped pyjamas is truly awful

Samhradh Thu 13-Feb-20 05:32:01

BitSP has been repeatedly slated by Holocaust survivor charities for very obvious reasons.

corythatwas Thu 13-Feb-20 06:12:42

For me, the whole OutWith thing, where a little German boy can't pronounce a German place-name (Auschwitz is the German name for a Polish town) and mishears it as some English words (in a way that doesn't make sense because a German W=English V), epitomises how shallow and thoughtless the plotting is.)

Yup.

bookworm14 Thu 13-Feb-20 07:38:31

I don’t think people should be writing ‘parables’ about the Holocaust, I’m afraid. As it passes out of living memory, meaning more people will deny it happened at all, truth and accuracy is absolutely essential.

TBISP sanitises and glosses over the real horror of Auschwitz. The stark fact is there would not have been a nine year old boy in the camp for Bruno to meet, because he would have been gassed immediately on arrival. Try and write a ‘parable’ about that.

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