Wow. I just finished reading THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS by John Boyne. What a story. Told from the viewpoint of a 9 year old, it is the story of Auschwitz through the eyes of an innocent child. Whose father is in charge of the camp. Wow.
My head is still spinning. It is so well written, so engaging, so lovely and yet so cruel and scary. A great book to use in high school.
I do feel that you need a lot of prior knowledge in order to be able to place the book in its proper context. The story also demonstrates the importance of communication. Bruno, the 9 year old with an annoying 12 year old sister, is lonely within his family. Father is solely preoccupied with his work as Commandant for the Fury (Fuhrer) and Mother is self centered and into ‘medicinal sherries’.
If only they had talked to Bruno who is desperate for friends and belonging…
I can see amazing discussions after reading it, with a book club or with high school students.