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Mon, Mar 25



Book Club 8th - 9th grade: The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

Book Club 8th - 9th grade: The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas
Book Club 8th - 9th grade: The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

Time & Location

Mar 25, 2024, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDT

Juergen's, 26026 Hempstead Rd, Cypress, TX 77429, USA


About the Event

Coordinator:  Lauren Duffy

Grades: 8th - 9th grades

Book: The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

For questions and comments, please use this forum:


Book Description:

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are quite different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Disclaimers about book’s content:  This book discusses the horrors of the holocaust.

Discussion Topics: man’s inhumanity to man, the essence of true friendship, childhood innocence

Questions for students:

  1. What were your initial reactions to the book’s setting and premise? How did it evoke emotions or challenge your perceptions?
  2. How does the opening scene in the book of Bruno and his friends represent their innocence?
  3. The friendship between Bruno and Shmuel is central to the story. How does their friendship defy the barriers created by their circumstances? What impact does their friendship have on both characters?
  4. Although this story takes place in a very dark time in history there are still moments of humor. Which stood out to you? Do you think the author should have included these funny moments? Why or why not?
  5. Does Bruno and Gretel’s tutor take advantage of the children’s innocence in what he teaches them? How? What were these ideas?
  6. The novel raises ethical questions about complicity and ignorance. How do characters like Bruno’s father, mother, and Lieutenant Kotler grapple with their roles in the events unfolding around them?
  7. Neither Bruno nor Shmuel really know what is going on at the concentration camps. Why is that and what allows them to keep their innocence?
  8. Discuss the impact of the book’s ending. How did it leave you feeling, and what do you think the author intended to convey through the conclusion?
  9. If you were to recommend this book to someone else, what would you tell them about it, and why do you think it is an important read?
  10. Have you read any other books about the holocaust? How did this book compare?

Materials students need to bring:  Book and pencils.

Activity, craft, or game: readers will work together to create a Venn diagram to compare Bruno and Shmuel.


  • 8th- 9th grade




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