Bruno is the son of a Nazi commandant who is moved from his home in Berlin to a house outside Auschwitz. As a completely naive nine year old, Bruno is unaware of what is going on and only thinks about how he wants to be back in Berlin with his friends. As he explores his new home, he finds another boy, sitting inside the fence. The two talk and become friends, from completely different worlds and in completely different circumstances.
This is a hard book to review. The subject matter is difficult, the outcome depressing, and yet Bruno was an annoying character for me. Surely a nine year old living under his Nazi father wasn't that clueless as to what his father was up to? Bruno seemed completely unaware of the state of the world, where he was, why other Nazi officers were such horrible people, and why the people working for his family were so scared. Even his friendship with the other boy focused mostly on himself.
Personally, I liked the ending and think the message behind it is good. I only wished that his parents had found out what happened, as this may have been a step towards them realizing how wrong they are.
First Line: "One afternoon, when Bruno came home from school, he was surprised to find Maria, the family's maid - who always kept her head bowed and never looked up from the carpet - standing in his bedroom, pulling all his belongings out of the wardrobe and packing them in four large wooden crates, even the things he'd hidden at the back that belonged to him and were nobody else's business."