The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas tells the story of Auschwitz from the perspective of a nine year old German officer's child (Bruno) living near the camp, who befriends a Jewish child (Shmuel) of the same age. The decision to use Bruno as the narrator was absolutely brilliant. Because, although you as the reader understand perfectly all the ways that being near the concentration camp is tearing his family apart, Bruno is completely innocent, brushing off his mother's many "medicinal sherries" and asking Shmuel questions like why he's so skinny.
I had read enough spoilers to know what happened in the end, and as I noticed I was running out of pages I started to brace for it. But when it came, true to the perspective the author had chosen, it was still without complete understanding of the real horror of it all. Only after the climax, through the characters remaining, did I really feel it.
When I read the book it was with the expectation that I'd be able to see the movie (which came out last weekend). Unfortunately, it seems the nearest place I could go see it is Denver, Dallas, or Chicago (not sure which one is closer, but they're all several hundred miles away), so I think I'm going to have to wait for the DVD. :(
If anyone else gets to see it, please come tell me how it was. I can't recommend it as an uplifting holiday flick, but from the previews I've seen it looks like it will be well done.