Tag Archives: WWII

More Reviews of Books: WWII

Though the video is rather dry, it gives recommendations and plot overviews of not only The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, but it also gives reviews on other YA books if students become interested in the topic of WWII.

 

Video

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and  Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Audra

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

Anne Frank in Pajamas

Okay, though the title may seem silly we are aware that many English classes teach Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl as part of the canon. We feel that another great pairing can be done between the young adult book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and the diary of Anne Frank. For those who don’t know, Anne Frank was a young girl who was a Jew during

Anne Frank

the time of Nazi occupation in Europe. She was born and lived in Germany but moved to Amstradam where she lived out the rest of her life. Her family went into hiding to avoid being captured by the Nazi’s and taken to a concentration camp. However, Anne’s family was eventually betrayed and along with her sister, Anne died in a concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 15. Her diary was later found and eventually published into a book, film, and play.

Anne was a good writer, her diary has fascinating insight into what life was like for her during her months and years in hiding. Since she was very young, her diary, and now book, would make an intriguing comparison in the classroom with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Both books are told by young narrators who do not quite understand all that is going on around them. War is a complex idea to an innocent child and it is evident in both these books. Also, there are interesting elements that can be discussed between the books, such as the genre. Anne Frank’s Diary was obviously written as a non-fiction piece since it was the story of her life during WWII, while The Boy in the

Picture of Anne's real diary

Striped Pajamas is a fictional story made up by author John Boyne.

Questions that would could be asked while teaching both books could be related to how the stories are told. One narration is told in first person and the other in third. How does this change the way we read the book? Which one seems more believable? Do you get to know both characters the same, or are there differences? How do their experiences effect you? Which story do you think you enjoyed more? Why do you think that?

Students could enjoy The Boy in the Striped Pajamas more because it may flow better or seem to have a more interesting plot. However, this could help as a teacher to get students to have an understanding of point-of-view and different styles of writing. Also, it would help with genre and what makes them different. Not only are these elements applicable while comparing both books, but these stories may very well draw emotions from students when they find that both young narrators do not live to see the war end. Students will hopefully be able to start feeling emotions for the characters and begin to make the moves that are required to put themselves in the texts they read.

Again, it may be easy to have the students read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl throughout the week and on Friday read to them from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, or split the books into separate weeks for the unit, whatever seems the best way to teach them.

The comparisons within these books would be very powerful within a classroom setting. Students may easily be drawn into these young peoples lives and the war that brought them to a tragic end; a war that was very real and almost unimaginable.

Audra

To see a review we’ve done on The Boy in Striped Pajamas click here. And if students find themselves fascinated with the story of Anne Frank, they can visit her official website and learn more about this intriguing young woman, Anne Frank’s Official Site.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pairings

The Book Thief

This book takes place in Germany during WWII, but this book is unique in the fact that Death is the narrator.  Death tells the story of a young girl Liesel Meminger as she grows up during the war.  Liesel has lost all her family and is taken in by the Hubbermanns.  As Liesel steals books and learns to read from her foster father, she discovers a love for the written word in a culture where book-burnings are taking place.

The Book Thief is rife with symbolism and feeling, allowing the reader to learn about the story of a normal girl of the time.  It is an amazing narrative that I would highly recommend.

Click here for an interview with Markus Zusak.  To go to Markus Zusak website click here, for information on his other book and discussion question to go along with The Book Thief.

Abby Greulich

Leave a comment

Filed under Young Adult

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

This is the fascinating tale of two young boys living during what is known as the Holocaust. This journey back in time is depicted through the eyes of a young German boy named Bruno and his new found friend Shmuel. However, though the boys become friends they are separated by not only a fence but the racist ideologies of the adults in their lives.  Taken from the perspective of young Bruno who is only nine, this book allows for one to see into the eyes of a child, children who do not understand exactly what is happening to them and why.

Bruno is clever in many ways, such as his language, yet does not pick up on all that is going on around him. However, Shmuel, who does know what is happening to the people “on his side of the fence” does not mention to Bruno all that goes on but simply holds is tongue, sparing his friend from the tragedies he endures from men like Bruno’s father.

In the end there is no mention of any direct understanding of where the boys actually are and what exactly takes place. Boyne has artistically taken the perspective of a child and leaves all the reasonings and history to the adults who are now aware of the happenings during the Holocaust, making them take a step back and look at it from a naive point-of-view and perhaps a better one.

If you would like to read parts of the book online click here, also we encourage you read the authors note at the end for a full explanation of how and why Boyne came up with the idea of writing about these two “young mens” and their stories.

This is a wonderful book for young adults who are interested in reading historical fiction and especially those into reading and learning about WWII. It is a very simple read and quick. Thumbs up!

Audra

Also, to read and get in-touch with the author on twitter, click here.

1 Comment

Filed under Recently Read