Sunday, October 28, 2007

BSP ~ reading schedule

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (BSP) by John Boyne is a children's book, though in other places it is called a YA book (Young Adult). Nevertheless, it is easy reading and won't take us a full month to complete. Therefore, I suggest we try to read half of it the first week and discuss that much while reading the second half the following week. During the third week, we'll finish our discussion. That means we will start our December reading during the final 7-8 days of November and be ready to start discussing that book on the first day of December. Here's a summary of the book, which is called a fable, followed by our new reading schedule.

Berlin 1942

When 9-year-old Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Reading schedule
November 1-8 ~ read first half of BSP (ch. 1-10)
November 8-16 ~ read 2nd half ~ discuss 1st half
November 16-23 ~ discuss any part of BSP
November 23-30 ~ start reading Dec. book
Clicking this link will bring up all of our discussion posts about BSP.


Stephanie said...

I'm going to try to find it at the library tomorrow! I really need to get back into reading with you guys!!

Shirley said...

I am number two on the waiting list for BSP. I may wind up buying the book as I don't want to get too far behind.

alisonwonderland said...

i picked up the book at the library this afternoon! i'm ready! :)

Zorro said...

1. Discuss the relationship between Bruno and Gretel. Why does Bruno seem younger than nine? In a traditional fable, characters are usually one-sided. How might Bruno and Gretel be considered one-dimensional?

In a fable there is often a simpleton who just doesn't 'get it' til the big, bad wolf 'brings it on'. I think Bruno represents that character in this fable. For example 2 of the 3 Little Pigs are naive and think they can live in houses of sticks or straw and still be safe; Little Red Riding Hood can't recognize the Big Bad Wolf and thinks he is her grandmother. Bruno represents that naive character, I think. He represents the naive German. And for us he represents all of us who naively are not aware that terror and totalitarianism is the life that others live in other parts of the world.

Gretel is older and more worldly wise and would be like the 3rd Little Pig who has enough maturity to understand what is happening, and could warn Bruno but she doesn't really want to tell him what is going on in the world that they live in. She represents the German who knows, but chooses not to 'see'. And for us Gretel represents those of us who know what is going on but do nothing about it. I would probably fall into this group as far as world politics goes.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Wow, Mary, what a perceptive reading of the book! I hadn't thought of it this way, but I think you are right on with your ideas.