Winner: Irish Book Award Children’s Book of the Year, Irish Book Award People’s Choice Book of the Year, Bisto Book of the Year, Que Leer Award Best International Novel of the Year (Spain), Orange Prize Readers Group Book of the Year
Shortlisted for British Book Award, the Border’s New Voices Award; the Ottaker’s Children’s Book Prize, the Paolo Ungari Literary Award (Italy) , Irish Book Award Irish Novel of the Year Award]]; the Leeds Book Award; the North-East Book Award; the Berkshire Book Award; the Sheffield Book Award; the Lancashire Book Award; Prix Farniente (Belgium); Flemish Young Readers Award; Independent Booksellers Book of the Year; Deutschen Jugend Literatur Preis (Germany)
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the International IMPAC Literary Award
Nine year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution or 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.
You can read an interview transcript about the writing of this novel here.
“It’s a great book, energetic, vivid, and amazing in the scope of its appeal. In the space of three days it had been read, and loved, by everybody in my house. The dog felt left out.”
“A small wonder of a book… this is what fiction is supposed to do”
“An extraordinary tale of friendship and the horrors of war… raw literary talent at its best”
“One thing is clear: this book will not go gently into any good night”
“Packed with overtones that remain in the imagination”
“An extraordinary book”
“Powerful and unsettling… as memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank”
“Deeply affecting… beautiful and sparsely written”
Wall Street Journal