I finished this book in almost one sitting and I have to admit it was very well written but I dont agree with it being a 'Fable'. The subject matter is very sad for a child, but young adult(13 onwards) makes more sense for me. Also, I think it was well done as far as perspective of a young boy goes.
1. The relationship between both siblings Bruno and Gretel seems very real and stereotypical of kids their age. in my mind, Bruno does not seem too young for 9years. Infact, if we see the timeframe of this book, it is set almost 70 years ago and times have changed. Kids are alot smarter now then they were even 30 years ago. They know aboout varied subjects, parents discuss more with them and they have the world at their fingertips thru the internet and TV. Keeping that in mind, Bruno may not be a typical 9 year old today but he must have been typical of the times. He cant pronunce certain words 'Fury' and 'Outwith' but it could be because they were not part of his everyday vocabulary. Of course, Gretel was 12, going on 13 and being a girl must have made them feel more than the 3 years apart.
2. There are many cases in India which I have seen when a man is a successful politician(Indian politics are very Dirty) and he tries to keeep his daughter out of even school politics. When I read the question about Gretel being the right age for the League of Young Girls, I wonder if her father didnt encourage her because at the back of his mind, noone else from his family should join becaus ehe knew what the internal problems may have been. Or he knew how Hard it would make you to join the league. Also there could be the practical point of being in Aushwitz that she couldnt join it. There was no one else around.
3. I think children can be perseptive, like if someone is genuinely a warm and nice person, even infants go to them willingly. Similiarly, there must have Obviously not been too many good vibes in this home what with Maria and Pavel being the domestic help. How could they have even been smiling at the children when they knew what was happeneing in the backyard. Lt. Kotler didnt even try to be nice to Bruno so there is no surprise why he made Out With seem like an unsafe place. His violent nature even oozed from his conversations with Bruno whcih probably made him feel unsafe. (Pg 76 when he tells Pavel to go to get a tyre for Bruno he says, "And afterwards, when you return to the kitchen, make sure you wash your hands before touching any food, you filthy --'.) To use such words and tone which Bruno had not heard from anyone made Bruno feel unsafe. Also he felt protective of his sister, although he found her to be a Hopeless Case, when she would flirt with Lt. Kotler. Bruno knew Pavel was a doctor but had to be a cook and waiter and he also somehow realised these were things, he couldnt discuss with his parents. All in All it would have made any child feel unsafe and cold.