set of striped pajamas behind a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

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Does the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas reference music, musicians, or children's games?

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Bruno played with his friends in Berlin.  They had plans for the summer, and he was really looking forward to it before he knew they had to move to Auswitz.  However, the only other play I can find is the tyre and rope that Bruno put together to make a swing. Since there were no other children to play with, Bruno had to supply his own entertainment.

"There were only two things that Bruno needed to create his new entertainment: some rope and a tyre.  The rope was easy enough to find....." (pg 70)

The tyre he gets from Lt. Kotler.

"....within a few hours  he was happily installed inside the centre of the tyre and swinging back and forth as if he did not have a care in the world, although ignoring the fact that it was one of the most uncomfortable swings he had ever been on in his life." (pg 77)

He then has an accident.  He got the tyre moving too quickly, lost his grip on the tyre, and fell to the ground.  He got a bad cut just below his knee and Pavel helped him bandage it.

The music is mentioned when the reader hears about Grandmother.

"Bruno always knew when a family party was getting into full swing because Grandmother would hover by the piano until someone sat down and asked her to sing." (pg 87)

She would always say that her singing days were behind her, but she could always be persuaded to sing a one particular song.

".....she would finally give in and turn to the young man at the piano and say in a quick and humorous voice: 'La Vie en Rose, E-flat minor.  And try to keep up with the changes.' " (pg 87)

Grandmother would also write plays for the children to perform during the holiday season.

"There was usually a song in there somewhere too ---Is it a song you're wanting? she'd ask first - and an opportunity for Bruno to do a magic trick and for Gretel to dance. " (pg 88)

The rest of the story centers around Auswitz, and there are no further games or songs.

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