so far, so good on the "reading for fun" new years resolution. i just finished reading the boy in the striped pajamas. it's one i've wanted to read since high school when i first heard about it. so when my sister-in-law was telling me how she had to read it for her 9th grade english class and i told her how i wanted to read it as well, she went and fetched her copy and lent it to me! and i'm so glad she did. it was everything i wanted it to be and more.

i've read quite a few books on the holocaust, because i have this strange fascination with the whole thing. i suppose it's just hard to fathom how some people could do such cruel things and how other people could survive such cruel things. but the boy in the striped pajamas managed to deliver a fresh perspective and different type of outlook on this ugly time in history. i've heard it describe as a "story of innocence in a world of ignorance" and i think that about sums it up.

it follows the story of a little boy living in berlin who is uprooted and moved to a much lonelier home when his soldier father has to move for his job. i don't want to give too much away, but he discovers this "farm" full of people in "striped pajamas" and sneaks away to it nearly everyday to hang out with the only boy he can find who's his age. they are separated by a fence, but spend hours chatting with each other and grow to enjoy and relish each other's company.

it was incredible to think of things about the holocaust from an innocent 9-year-old boy's point of view. he's quite unaware of the turmoil around him, although he picks up bits and pieces of it. he's wiser and better at following raw intuition than most of the adults. i could spoil it all and go on for days about why it was incredible. and heart-breaking. and why you shouldn't try finishing the book and watching the movie the same day. (i made that mistake and it was just too much heavy sadness for one day.) but instead, you should get your hands on a copy and read it for yourself.