I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to a child to read alone. I do think it would be wonderful to have a parent or a teacher read it aloud to a child, especially as an introduction to the war and the Holocaust. I did enjoy it very much, mainly because it's told from a completely fresh point of view, that of an innocent child, who can't possibly imagine the cruelty he witnesses. At nine years old, Bruno is the picture of innocence and trust. Living in a mansion, being waited on by servants and having plenty of food is the only life he has known or can imagine. Extreme hunger, sadness, cruelty and abuse stare him in the face day after day, even with wide "sunken" eyes, yet he can't see this. His own safe life, his young innocence and his belief in the basic goodness of mankind cloud the truth. The two extremes portrayed in this story, show the reality of the Holocaust in a way that is very powerful, very moving. These extremes exist between Hitler and the blonde woman, the father and his mother, the servants' lives before and after the war, the Jews and Germans, Gretel and Bruno, the prisoners and the soldiers, the two 9 year old boys, and even in the homes where Bruno has lived. There is also a level of indifference or even confusion portrayed in the mother and Gretel, to a degree.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in viewing the Holocaust from a new angle.