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Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - age 9?

(56 Posts)
ElizabethWakefield Mon 08-Nov-10 20:44:34

Just after some opinions please.

DD's class (P6) 9 and 10 yr olds, started reading the Boy in the striped pyjamas today in school. They seem to have been given no background etc and I was just a but surprised as I thought it was aimed at older children.

I have read it, and while I didn't think it was particularly well done, I feel that it will just go over the children's heads just now and they wont really understand it.

DD has a basic understanding of the war and what happened in concentration camps (I was recently at auschwitz) and it's not that i am against her learning about it, i just feel with no background, it is a bit pointless.

They are also going to be shown the film (which is a 12 as a matter of interest).

Just really wondering what others thought.

thisisyesterday Mon 08-Nov-10 20:46:41

i would object to them being shown a film with a higher age certificate

i actually think it's a shit book, and without a lot of background will be meaningless to a 9 or 10 year old, so in that way i have an issue with it
are they studying the holocaust/war? it's all a bit much for children that age isn't it?

alicatte Mon 08-Nov-10 20:48:42

I don't think they can show the film unless you parents all give permission.

But - WW2 and WW1 do crop up in Year 5 and 6. Where I work we have Goodnight Mr Tom, I am David, Anne Frank, The Silver Sword as book studies (in a rolling rota over the years) I have Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in my class library and there are more in the school library.

dahu Mon 08-Nov-10 20:56:32

In class today we were talking about Remembrance Sunday and the "Boy in the striped pyjamas" came up in conversation. Three out of sixteen children had read it and watched the film, they seemed to understand the severity/reality of it.
That was a P5 class, all about age 9. I would not have chosen it for them but they had all read it at home with parents. I would use in it in P7 during WW2 topic.

If they were going to watch the film in class a permission slip should be sent home.

Marjoriew Mon 08-Nov-10 21:01:33

I am working on WW11 with my grandson whom I home educate. I read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to see if it was suitable for grandson [11].
I decided against it because he is quite a 'young' 11.
I think it very much depends on the child.
We chose 'Blitz' instead and 'Goodnight Mr.Tom'.

pointydog Mon 08-Nov-10 21:03:38

dd2 read it at school in P7 (was 10). Fitted i nwith WW2 topic. It was an interesting read for her.

They should get permission re film.

littleredsquirrel Mon 08-Nov-10 21:04:56

I think its too old. I am also quite surprised that the school is showing a 12 certificate film to 9 year olds.

ElizabethWakefield Mon 08-Nov-10 21:05:00

They are not studying the war/holocaust which is why I thought it a little strange to be doing this book as a class.

I would have thought there should/would have been a bit of background teaching before reading it, or a lot of the meaning would be lost and it would be a bit pointless.

I agree that it is not a very good book, I would have much preferred Anne Frank or one of the others mentioned.

Perhaps permission slips will come home before the film then (was quite surprised as they have been told in the past when watching films that only Us are allowed not even PGs)

pointydog Mon 08-Nov-10 21:08:06

I'd have a chat with the teacher and ask if s/he has read the book and if s/he thinks the class are up to it. And raise your concern about the 12 film.

ElizabethWakefield Mon 08-Nov-10 21:15:45

It is actually parents night this week, so quite good timing, I will drop it into conversation I think, and try to find out if it is fitting in with a topic or is just being taught on it's own.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Nov-10 21:17:24

My DD read the book at school (Yr6, think she was already 11). I borrowed it and read it and thought it was a poor choice of book for primary, its horribly bleak if they do understand it and pointless if they don't. Greedy self-centred boy stumbles his way to oblivion.

There should be a permission slip for a 12 rated film. I've not seen the film, maybe its better than the book.

ElizabethWakefield Mon 08-Nov-10 21:22:14

It's not, I actually thought it was worse!! grin

singersgirl Mon 08-Nov-10 21:53:08

I think it's a rubbish book too and wouldn't want my 9 year old reading it. He/we have read Goodnight Mr Tom and Carrie's War and Adolphus Tips and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - all much better books to discuss the effect of war on people.

Simbacatlives Mon 08-Nov-10 21:57:17

I remember listening to I am David each week on the radio when I was about. I was so moved that I saved up to the book and still have it.

Feenie Mon 08-Nov-10 22:03:37

I would not recommend asking the teacher if she has actually read the book (why would they be reading it if she hadn't first?) or if she thinks the class are up to it (of course she does - she has selected it to study with the children!)

Agree you should raise concerns about the film because of the 12 certificate.

Ingles2 Mon 08-Nov-10 22:05:30

Ds1 did boy in the striped pj's last year, in yr 5, as part of their WW2 topic.
He's old in the year, so would have been 10, but was upset by it.
We had weeks of night time worries about the war, and the horrors of concentration camps. I would have definitely preferred Goodnight Mr Tom or Anne Frank.

bellavita Mon 08-Nov-10 22:07:59

I work in a Secondary school, I am sure the Yr8's are reading this book at the moment.

mycomment Mon 08-Nov-10 22:10:57

Me and my 9 year old just read it - I quite enjoyed it but completely over his head to the end I think. Don't think we'll bother with the film...

pointydog Mon 08-Nov-10 22:17:44

If a parent had read a book, had a few concerns and wanted to know more about how it would be used in class (with or without film), I would be perfectly happy for that parent to open up a discussion by asking my opinions of the book, how the class would explore it and how I felt they would deal with it.

slhilly Mon 08-Nov-10 22:18:28

FWIW, when children are a bit older -- say 14 -- you can try them with "The Last of the Just", by Andre Schwarz-Bart. It is deeply moving, much more so for me than the Diary of Anne Frank, because the sweep is so much broader.

MrsShrekTheThird Mon 08-Nov-10 22:19:55

I've done it with yr 9 - wouldn't personally consider it suitable for 9 year olds, but that's just my opinion.

Feenie Mon 08-Nov-10 22:20:36

"If a parent had read a book, had a few concerns and wanted to know more about how it would be used in class (with or without film), I would be perfectly happy for that parent to open up a discussion by asking my opinions of the book, how the class would explore it and how I felt they would deal with it."

So would I, pointydog, perfectly happy - but I would be v. pissed off if you asked the two questions you suggested earlier!

jonicomelately Mon 08-Nov-10 22:20:52

I haven't read the book but I have seen the film. I thought the film was excellent but I wouldn't let my nine-year old watch it. The 12 certificate is about right as I know older children who have seen it and gained a lot of understanding by doing so.

pointydog Mon 08-Nov-10 22:24:34

Yeah, it sounded blunt but obv I would always recommend being totally polite when phrasing questions at all times (except on mn, natch wink)

Feenie Mon 08-Nov-10 22:25:47

grin

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