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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
Cover of The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is another extraordinary historical fiction about World War II and innocence in the face of evil. When...
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is another extraordinary historical fiction about World War II and innocence in the face of evil. When...
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  • The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is another extraordinary historical fiction about World War II and innocence in the face of evil.

    When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy Austrian household. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

    Pierrot is quickly taken under Hitler's wing and thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets, and betrayal from which he may never be able to escape. This title has Common Core connections.

About the Author-

  • John Boyne is the author of Crippen, The Thief of Time, Next of Kin, and the New York Times and internationally bestselling The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Boyne won two Irish Book Awards (the People's Choice and the Children's) for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was made into a Miramax feature film, and his novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Ireland's Sunday Business Post named him one of the forty people under forty in Ireland "likely to be the movers and shakers who will define the country's culture, politics, style and economics in 2005 and beyond." Crippen was nominated for the Sunday Independent Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award. He lives with his partner in Dublin.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 25, 2016
    Boyne returns to a WWII setting for this novel about Pierrot Fischer, a Parisian of German heritage whose best friend, Anshel, is Jewish and deaf. Orphaned at age seven, Pierrot goes to live with his Aunt Beatrix, a housekeeper at a mountaintop estate near Salzburg. Many readers will suspect the estate owner’s identity before the big reveal, but unlike the staff, Pierrot—now renamed Pieter—is not terrified but charmed by Herr Hitler, who makes him his pet. A small boy once bullied at school, Pierrot turns into a bully himself once he falls under the spell of Nazi pageantry and propaganda, eventually instigating a horrifying betrayal. Cameos from filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and members of the Nazi hierarchy introduce facts into the fictional Pierrot’s narrative. Though his transformation from sympathetic orphan to callous antihero doesn’t give readers much to root for, the story is redeemed by a powerful epilogue. As he did in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Boyne crafts an unexpected ending that packs a tremendous emotional wallop. Ages 10–14.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2016
    A young boy grows up in Adolf Hitler's mountain home in Austria.Seven-year-old Pierrot Fischer and his frail French mother live in Paris. His German father, a bitter ex-soldier, returned to Germany and died there. Pierrot's best friend is Anshel Bronstein, a deaf Jewish boy. After his mother dies, he lives in an orphanage, until his aunt Beatrix sends for him to join her at the Berghof mountain retreat in Austria, where she is housekeeper for Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. It is here that he becomes ever more enthralled with Hitler and grows up, proudly wearing the uniform of the Hitler Youth, treating others with great disdain, basking in his self-importance, and then committing a terrible act of betrayal against his aunt. He witnesses vicious acts against Jews, and he hears firsthand of plans for extermination camps. Yet at war's end he maintains that he was only a child and didn't really understand. An epilogue has him returning to Paris, where he finds Anshel and begins a kind of catharsis. Boyne includes real Nazi leaders and historical details in his relentless depiction of Pierrot's inevitable corruption and self-delusion. As with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006), readers both need to know what Pierrot disingenuously doesn't and are expected to accept his extreme naivete, his total lack of awareness and comprehension in spite of what is right in front of him.Chilling, difficult, and definitely not for readers without a solid understanding of the Holocaust despite the relatively simple reading level. (Historical fiction. 12-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-The author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Random, 2006) delivers another powerful allegory in this compelling World War II story about a young boy swept into the fear, zealotry, and bigotry of Nazism. In 1936 Paris, seven-year-old Pierrot Fischer is orphaned. After the deaths of his devoted French mother and troubled, abusive German father, Pierrot is temporarily cared for by his neighbor, the mother of his Jewish friend, Anshel. When his German aunt, a housekeeper at Hitler's Berghof, Berchtesgaden home, sends for Pierrot, his name is changed to Pieter, his friendship with Anshel is denied, and he resides at Berghof with the house staff, awaiting Hitler's periodic visits. Despite the warnings of his aunt, Pieter embraces Hitler's volatile attention and dogmatism, turning against family and friends. With skill and emotional detachment, Boyne tells Pieter's story through descriptions and dialogue that are concise, spare, and vivid. Ahead of Pieter, readers will grasp the impending consequences, pain, and horror of the boy's obsequious relationship with Hitler. Woven into the story are authentic personalities and facts including the dictator's passion for dogs, painting, anti-Semitism, and unquestioning loyalty. Pieter's story offers a lens for examining post-traumatic stress disorder and the violent and coercive extremism of the 21st century. VERDICT Pieter's traumatic childhood, infatuation and interactions with Hitler, adolescent angst, and destructive choices will captivate teens and prompt thought-provoking discussion.-Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books gymbo - this book is interesting and thrilling. john boyne has like his last book -the boy in stripe pyjamas- done a great job. you learn alot about the holocaust and you will get sad(for experienced readers only!!).

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    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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