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  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409097518
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

A tie-in edition of this best-selling book, to coincide with the release of the blockbuster film.

Lines may divide us, but hope will unite us . . .

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409097518
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the author

John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, six for younger readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John’s other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Loneliness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. Most recently, The Heart's Invisible Furies was a Richard & Judy Bookclub word-of-mouth bestseller, and A Ladder to the Sky was shortlisted for theKerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Awardin association with Listowel Writers’ Week.

His novels are published in over fifty languages.

Also by John Boyne

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Praise for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

This novel is a fine addition to a once taboo area of history, at least where children's literature is concerned. It provides an account of a dreadful episode short on actual horror but packed with overtones that remain in the imagination. Plainly and sometimes archly written, it stays just ahead of its readers before delivering its killer punch in the final pages.

Nick Tucker, Independent

The great strength of Bruno's narrative is the way it is mired in the parochial preoccupations of a nine-year-old... for the younger reader, the slow revelation of detail becomes an education in real time of the horrors of "Out-With", known to the grown-ups as Auschwitz.... The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is a small wonder of a book. Bruno's education is conducted slowly, through a series of fleeting social encounters rather than by plunging him into a nightmare landscape.

The Guardian

'Quite impossible to put down, this is the rare kind of book that doesn't leave your head for days. Word of mouth should be strong and this has the potential to cross over to an adult audience. A unique and captivating novel, which I believe deserves huge success'

Becky Stradwick, Borders, The Bookseller

An extraordinary tale of friendship and the horrors of war seen through the eyes of two young boys, it's stirring stuff. Raw literary talent at its best. More please!

Irish Independent

A memorable and moving story, with a child's view of a frightening adult world.

Oxford Times

Interview with John Boyne. "Boyne carries the story so effectively, particularly in the ending, that few readers will avoid tears.

The Bookseller

Grab it before it is grabbed by the curriculum gurus. It won't let you go.

Lindsey Fraser, The Bookseller

Destined to be one of the most talked about books of the year.


Every now and then something outstanding comes along and blows you away...the naivity of both children is both beautiful and gut-wrenching. There have been many books written on the Holocaust, but I have never come across a children's book that has been so well written.

Wild Geese (blog)

Set to become a publishing phenomenon...it will take children over 10 on an emotional rollercoaster. Adults will love the book too. They will be moved, amazed and astonished.

David O'Callaghan, Irish Examiner

Talk of the Trade - there's tremendous advance buzz for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne...a clever ad campaign (and even the flap copy) has been careful not to give away much, if any, of the plot.


The word on the shop floor is that David Fickling has found the most exciting book since Curious Incident with John Boyne's Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.

Mary Byrne, Inis

A powerful and emotionally-charged piece of literature.

Yorkshire Evening Post

A tale of the innocence of youth and the disastrous consequences of a friendship across a divide.

Waterstone's Books Quarterly

Deceptively simply written... the story is beautifully written in the style of a fable and the message seems clear - adults do stupid, cruel things.

TES Teacher

An extraordinary book that made me feel increasingly chilled.

Gerald Sperling, TES

The new The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time?


The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is about to become the publishing sensation of 2006 and deservedly so.

Oxford Mail

Successful fiction captures the imagination, it allows us to live lives that are extraordinary to us. The story of Bruno and Schmuel within The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas does exactly that, through it we gain a fresh and new perspective on the Holocaust... it is a novel whose ending remains with readers long after the pages are finished, it is a novel that inspires thought and difference of opinion, it is a book that deserves to be read, to be discussed, to be held close to the heart.

Jacob Hope, ACHUKA

Ostensibly a book for teenagers, it should be read by anyone who cares about modern Irish fiction, young or old, because it's that very rare thing - a book so simple, so seemingly effortless, that it's almost perfect... packs quite an emotional punch... will be one of the most talked about children's books this year.

Irish Independent

Keeps you guessing and when you finish reading, it will make you think about history and the Holocaust... it'll keep you entertained and you'll want to read on to find out what happens to Bruno and Schmuel

Newsround online

Very simply written and highly memorable. There are no monstrosities on the page but the true horror is all the more potent for being implicit.

Ireland on Sunday

A very special book indeed... a most emotional book for readers age 10 plus (definitely including adults)

Newmarket Journal

Reading the last three chapters, two things struck me: the author's stunning poetic prose - with shades of Hemingway - and the lump in my throat. Boyne is an outstanding writer and this is a book that is going to find many admirers.

Stoke on Trent Sentinel

Highly recommended

Saffron Walden Reporter

An extraordinary book... a powerful story, simply told.

Irish Examiner

A book that lingers in the mind for quite some time. It is a subtle, calculatedly simple and ultimately moving story. For any age.

Irish Times

Chilling, poignant, and deeply unsettling, it is a thoughtful book suitable for older readers... definitely a book you will remember long after you finished the last page.

Norwich Evening News

Written in a compelling, child-like style, this haunting story is easy to read but horrifying to think about.

Northern Echo

A stor ywith a difference... read it to find out why.

Woman's Way (Eire)

Chillingly compelling.

The Scotsman

John Boyne is one of the most exciting young writers of the moment, and this, his first novel for children, is likley to be the one that makes him a household name. It is one of the most powerful and bitterly touching books I have read... the story is told so beautifully and with such poignancy that I challenge anyone not to be affected and impressed by it. A definite five out of five.

Homes 2 Business Journal

A very sad and haunting story...it will really make you think, long after you have finished it, and leave you slightly stunned as Bruno's innocence contrasts with the cruel world of the nazi's. Not for th faint hearted, but definitely for everyone else.

Herts & Essex Observer

A moving book that will have you gripped from start to finish

Daily Ireland

So chilling is the conclusion that children under 12 would be advised to stay away

Jewish Chronicle

This is such a poignant tale it will pull at the heart strings

Colchester Evening Chronicle

It has much in common with the classic children's book My Name is David, a novel that similarly attempted to describe the tangential horrors of war by adopting a naive, ingenuous narrator's voice.... a brave, unusual and heart-rending tale; it may be a world seen through a child's eyes, but it deals with adult - indeed, timeless - themes.


An ambitious debut.

Books for Keeps

A book which sensitively deals with the Holocaust and is bound to provoke questions in young readers.

Inis magazine

Overwhelmingly powerful... this is a story so exceptional and vivid that it cannot be erased from the mind.


Fantastic... interesting yet deceiving

Bristol Evening Post

An incredibly well written, totally absorbing book - it will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

Primary Times in Hampshire

A book for teenagers that will be read by even more adults and is sure to win literary prizes... a wonderful, haunting story.

The Bookseller

This is what fiction is supposed to do: introduce you to the minds of those you wouldn't ordinarily meet.

Dina Rabinovitch, The Guardian

A very human and profoundly moving introduction to one of the darkest moments in human history

The Good Book Guide


Daily Telegraph

A beautifully written, heart-rending story.

Lowestoft Journal

Nicely written book, with some beautiful expressions... a good plot.

Teen Titles

According to the press release this is an extraordinary book and set to become a modern classic. The hype is not misplaced; it is every bit as powerful as they claim. The writing is deceptively simple and understated and there are no overt horrors, nevertheless, the feeling of entering a terrifying world without moral boundaries permeates the whole book.

Historical Novels Review

Utterly compelling.

Jayne Howarth, Birmingham Post

...brilliantly written, superbly conceived novel, ending with words as bleakly ambiguous as any i have ever read. Boyne's ability to lead us on with crystal clear prose so that we unthinkingly fall into the elephant trap reminds me irresistably of another Irishman - Jonathan Swift.

Dennis Hamley, The School Librarian

Incredibly poignant and beautifully written book...

Jayne Howarth, Birmingham Post

Review of Film It's one of the most moving and remarkable film about childhood I've ever seen....this is a hugely affecting film. Important, too. It engages with the complexity of the Holocaust in a language that can move children as profoundly as adults

James Christopher, The Times

Review of Film Your Children MUST see this...As a film for children between the ages of eight and 12, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a well-intentioned and very well-made introduction to one of the greatest atrocities in recent history.

Matthew Bond, The Mail on Sunday

Review of Film The genius of this seemingly modest tale from Herman is not that it manages to weld two seemingly disparate genres - a kids coming of age tale and a Holocaust drama.But that, in doing so, it somehow sees the ineffable horror of the latter with entirely new eyes.

Kevin Maher, The Saturday Times (The Knowledge)

Review of Film ...this is a brave and moving tale of innocence lost...It's an unusual and brave piece of family entertainment, and one worth seeing.

Cosmo Landesman, The Sunday Times (Culture)

Review of Film The heartbreaking tale of a Nazi's son and a Jewish boy pulls no punches. Nor should it be... Mark Herman, director of Brassed Off and Little Voice, handles everything with great skill, sympathy and seriousness.

Jason Solomons, The Observer

Review of the Film It knuckles down, crawls on its belly, and goes the way you least expect it.

Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Review of Film Subtle, chilling, brilliant.

James King, BBC Radio 1

Review of Film Thumbs up, bravo and applaud

Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5 Live

Reviw of Film This is a brave, consummately crafted, admirably intentioned movie, with some nuanced performances by David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga as Bruno's parents...I'd initially thought to warn off younger spectators from this 12A certificate film. But then the movie wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't upset us, and as an appalled history lesson the film is an absorbing, responsible work.

Edward Lawrenson, The Big Issue

Review of Film It will stay with you much longer than the 90mins it takes to watch it.

Fiona Phillips, The Daily Mirror

Review of Film Movie is must-see... Every school pupil in the country should read the book and see the movie to spark discussion of one of the most unspeakable horrors of modern times.

Lorraine Kelly, The Sun

The word Holocaust is not mentioned once, but the skill with which Boyne delivers the reality of the concentration camp through a young child's eyes makes this book a must-read.

Fife Free Press

This is a story that will linger in your mind.

Luton News

An unforgettable and moving book.

Newcastle Upon Tyne Evening Chronicle

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