Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne Lexile 1080

Tara and Trent attend a Project-Based Literacy Charter School.  Tara is learning about the Holocaust.  She has researched facts and events at school, attended a museum exhibit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and now has read a historical fiction based on the events of the Holocaust. 

  Summary:  This is the story about two boys who saw each other as two boys, not defined by social prejudice or boundaries.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was set in the past, in 1942.  Bruno is the main character in this story.  He and his parents moved from Berlin to a new city in Poland. He was confused about the fence that seemed to go on forever.  Bruno explored the fence and made friends with a boy on the other side with a shaved head and striped pajamas. Bruno made the decision to crawl under the fence...
Tara's discussion question responses:
1.) If you had to design a new cover for this book, what would it look like?
When I thought of this book at the very beginning, all I saw was a little boy in striped pajamas in my head. The cover of this book just had big light blue and white stripes on it which I then understood why the author picked that for the cover as I read on. If I was to create the book cover I would’ve put a barbwire fence on a cloudy rainy day from up close to as far as you could see representing the Holocaust. 

2.) How does this book connect with another book that you have read?
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was about this little boy and his family that was not Jewish and his perspective of what it was like or could have been like during the Holocaust. In the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, it tells through diary entries how Anne and her family lived during the time of the Holocaust that they took place in. Both stories took place during the Holocaust from different viewpoints. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is really historical fiction and The Diary of Anne Frank is real. Her hopes, dreams, attitudes and thoughts are written for history. 

3.) What would this story be like if the main character was of the opposite gender?
The main character in this book was a nine year old boy named Bruno who loved to explore the area around him. If the main character was a girl, she would probably have spent more time at home and less time exploring because that is what girls did during that time. Girls learned how to cook, clean, sew and take care of their home.

Tara’s Thoughts:
Normally I read fiction (princess/romance books) but this book really made me think of what happened during the Holocaust and how Jewish people were murdered. I thought this book was a fantastic book, from Bruno moving and hating it, to meeting a new best friend.  I thought that this book would have more violence than it did regarding the topic choice, but it wasn’t that violent until later on in the book. I would completely recommend this book to people older than 12. There is too much violence and the ending is too hard for younger kids.

Theresa's Thoughts:
Tara and her Advisor found a website called Operation Butterfly. The original thought was for the class to make 1500 butterflies to represent the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust. Their site is up and they have written of their potential contribution to the Houston, TX butterfly collection. See link for more information. 

The Houston, TX Holocaust Museum has stated that they will take butterfly projects through June 2013. See link below.

This is Tara's final project...a remembrance butterfly.

John Boyne's website is:

Release Date:  2006
Age Range:  12 and up
ISBN:  978-0385751063
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Topic:  Holocaust, Friendship

Thanks for reading my review!


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