Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne - ADVISABLE

Boyne, John The Boy at the Top of the Mountain, 272 pages.  Henry Holt, 2016.  Language: G; Mature Content: PG (pawing); Violence: PG-13 (two executions, other violence).

The time is 1936.  Pierrot is seven and he has been left an orphan and is taken in by his Aunt Beatrix, whom he has never met.  Leaving behind his beloved Paris, including his beloved dog and his best friend, Anschel, a Jewish boy, Pierrot is whisked away to the Berghof, where his aunt is the housekeeper for Herr Hitler, the chancellor of Germany.  While Hitler is not there frequently, he has a profound effect upon the impressionable little boy, who makes choices that will have devastating consequences for people around him and lead to soul-searching agony after the war.

DO NOT think that this is a sequel of any sort to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  Instead, think of this as a contrast, a juxtaposition – a boy who allows evil to influence and mold his attitudes and behavior.  This is a much more mature book; it would be a good choice for a psychology class as a jumping off point to discuss nature/nurture, good vs evil and the such.

MS, HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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