This book is about a boy named Bruno who is forced to move away from his enormous home in Berlin with his family into a smaller house with no places to explore. Besides having no one to play with except for his older sister, he’s surrounded by soldiers who are constantly in and out of his father’s office as well as other grown-ups who always seem unhappy. Bruno misses his friends, his grandparents, and Berlin itself and he does not understand what’s going on around him. He hates everything about his new house and is very lonely until he meets the boy ‘on the other side of the fence’.
This book about the Holocaust stands out because of the unusual perspective through the eyes of the 9-year-old boy who has no clue as to what is going on around him. This gives the readers a strong sense of foreboding, long before they know the extent of the terror surrounding Bruno’s world. Readers will be struck by the naivety of Bruno, and the extreme horrors of the Holocaust.
Readers will be able to relate quickly to Bruno, who is uprooted from his home and has to move to an obscure neighbourhood where he has no friends. Being lonely, annoyed by his sister and always ignored by adults, Bruno does not like living in this neighbourhood. He wants to go outside and explore and thus meets a boy ‘on the other side of the fence’ whom he can pay with.
I feel that this book vividly expresses the thoughts of Bruno. This book is suitable for all ages as it is written through the eyes of a young boy so everyone would be able to relate and understand his feelings about the holocaust. We often hear about war from the victim’s perspective. Thus, being able to hear it in the perspective of someone who was in a way part of the attacker’s side will make this book unique. This book is definitely one to remember.
Giselle Cho (2 Faith)