Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

My 9 year old Gemma.
 Thanks Gem, I don't think I would have come across this book !
My daughter, who is 9, brought this book home from the school library and was about to take it to bed to read. I looked at the front cover and asked her if she knew what the book was about. She answered that she didn’t, and I read the blurb on the back. When I read it I knew that she would have no comprehension of what she was reading as Nazi Germany and the Holocaust were not something that we had discussed in our family with our children. I immediately asked if I could read it first, she was happy with this and went off to read Billie B Brown.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas tells the story of Bruno who moves from Berlin to “Out-With”. His father has a very powerful job and Bruno has even met the “Fury”.  When Bruno moves to “Out-With” he meets a boy who has to wear striped pyjamas, and who lives behind a big fence. Bruno is quite jealous of this boy as he has many other boys to play with, while Bruno has no friends on his side of the fence. The two boys meet daily to chat, and Bruno, as an innocent child, never questions why his friend is so dirty, and begs for food. Bruno fancies himself an explorer so when his friend’s father goes missing behind the fence, Bruno asks for a pair of pyjamas so he can sneak under the fence and help his friend find his father.  The ending is just tragic. I would definitely recommend this book as a haunting read, telling an abhorrent story through innocent children’s eyes.

Busy Chick’s Highlight – Bruno tells his friend he is quite jealous of his armband (with a star on it), which has a star on it. He complains that his Dad has a great armband too, it is red with a great black pattern on it. Why or why can’t he have an armband.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley – Author P.D. James

“Pemberley “, I hear you ask ? Yes Pemberley, estate of Mr Darcy, home now of 6 years to Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet (now Mrs Darcy). These much loved characters are revived by P.D. James and Pemberley is the centre of a murder mystery, starring the dastardly Mr Wickham. Jane Austen’s style of writing is almost recreated, with the only thing missing her astute, humourous and sometimes cruel characterisations and dialogue that always managed to highlight and exaggerate the faults of those characters she did not favour.  However many favourite characters are back and the mystery unravels intriguingly.

Busy Chick’s Highlight – If you were a Pride and Prejudice fan, but not a purist, I think you will enjoy spending time with the characters again. The final solution to the murder mystery certainly has its twists and turns.