This novel is extraordinary. It's written from the perspective of an innocent and somewhat naïve 9-year-old boy, but the weight of what he's seeing and living is felt fully. Readers will understand the seriousness of his life, even though our narrator doesn't.

In Berlin in the 1940s, Bruno and his family move miles from their comfortable home when his military father gets a promotion. Outside his new home is a tall fence with barbed wire, which he's told to stay away from. But his adventurous side gets the best of him and Bruno goes exploring, only to meet on the other side a young boy about his age wearing striped pajamas. Neither boy understands the circumstances of where he's living and, perhaps because of this, they manage to form an unlikely friendship. (David Fickling, Sep., 224 pp., $15.95, ISBN: 0385751060, 12 and Up, HC)
Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris