Think for a minute about the title of the story and what is happening in the world as the story unfolds. Within the school, all is supposed to be safe and nurturing, while a world war begins to rage. But the purpose of the school, to educate, is shifted to meet the needs of the war. A peaceful school should be a place in which students can grow safely, but that is not what happens in this particular school year,is it? Is the school actually peaceful? Or is the title somewhat ironic? As conflict in the world escalates, the reader can see internal conflict within the characters, and external conflict among the characters. As people in Germany and other countries allow evil to prevail by not opposing it, adolescent boys grapple with the notion that they are leaders or followers and with the question of whether they should speak out. Can doing nothing cause evil consequences? There are some questions to get you started on the relationship between the setting of the book and the conflicts and mood within.
Good luck to you.