This book starts in Berlin with a little boy, Bruno, finding out that he has to leave his luxurious home. We find out that his dad is a soldier and that they have to black out the windows at night.
As Bruno tells the story he describes that a man called " The Fury" came to dinner at his house just before his family had to move. He says he was: rude, impatient, shouty, little and with a tiny moustache that made Bruno think that he had forgotten to shave a bit.
Bruno's family have to go the train station to travel to their new home and they get onto a comfortable and quite spacious train. However, Bruno observes that there is a second train opposite theirs, traveling in the same direction, with hundreds of people cramped on it and he wonders if he should tell them that here is plenty of space on his train.
Bruno thinks that moving house was a mistake and he hates it there because it is very lonely. He misses his friends from Berlin and his grandparents. He is puzzled about why he is separated from thousands of people by a high fence, topped with bales of razor wire, because he wants to go and play with the children on the other side of it. He wants to know why everyone on the other side wears striped pyjamas.Bruno's new house is at a place that he calls "Out With" and he eventually discovers that it is in Poland not Germany.
Eventually, Bruno finds himself so lonely that he can't resist the urge to go and befriend some of the boys on the other side of the fence. He makes friends with a boy called Schmuel, who turns out to have exactly the same birthday as him. They meet every day, and Bruno takes him bits of food because he looks so scrawny and he is always hungry. Schmuel tells Bruno that everyone on his side of the fence is a Jew and that the soldiers hate them, but Bruno cannot understand this and is sure his father wouldn't hate anyone.
This was a powerful story and a brilliant book. It is completely told through the eyes of a young boy and I think the author has done this brilliantly. Bruno is always talking about things that are important to him like missing his friends and his old house, but from the background details the reader realizes the situation he is in. This book really made me think and I would recommend it to anyone of ten and above.