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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain

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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 14
14 Reviews
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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 household at the top of the German mountains. 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.

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

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain Reviews | Toppsta

9780552573504
  • ISBN: 9780552573504
  • Pub Date: 2nd May 2016
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Imprint: Corgi Childrens
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 224

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10th August '16
I read it myself (an adult)
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
An amazingly powerful read for children's fiction that could easily be used in the curriculum along side The Boy with striped Pajamas.  Highlighting themes of change/betrayal/loyalty.
The first world war changes Pierrot's father beyond recognition and in the end he throws himself under a train because he just can't cope.  Pierrot is just a young innocent boy but after the death of his mothe he is sent to live with his aunt.  His aunt is the house keeper of Adolf Hitler himself.  It's not long before the influence of living in that environment rubs off and Pierrot himself changes beyond recognition.
This book is great to open a dialogue with children as after my son read it he had questions.  It's also important that alongside a book like The diary of Anne Frank children can see different sides to the same story.
22nd July '16
I read it myself (an adult) & to Yorkshire11 aged 10 aged 10
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is utterly brilliant! 
Pierrot is sent to live with his Aunt in the Austrian mountains. The house is called The Berghof, the year is 1935 and the owner of the house is called Hitler. Seven year old Pierrot has never heard of the Nazis, but his life is about to dramatically change; what will become of this kind and considerate little boy as he's taken under Hitler's wing?
Be prepared to get considerably upset as you read this story, there are quite a few references to atrocities that took place during the WWII. Certain scenes, although not graphic, are devastating and are bound to raise questions from the books intended middle grade audience. As an adult, I found my heart breaking as Pierrot makes decisions based on the doctrine he has been taught. 
Everyone should read this book. Are we all capable of losing our way, following the wrong path and making choices that will haunt us for the rest of our days? Maybe if we championed love and kindness, then we would all recognise hatred and fear when it came creeping into our lives. 
John Boyne is an incredibly talented writer, his stories aren't fairy tales with happily ever afters but gripping, gritty, true to live tales of young people trying to survive in the world the adults around them have created. Pierrot is a fascinating character who made me smile, laugh, cry and rage at the cruelty humans are capable of. 
A must read! 


 
24th July '16
aimee read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
What a great book, it gives you an insight of the other side of The Great War, WW2, an insight to Hitler and his sidekicks. It tells the story of a young child orphaned at a young age whom is sent away to an orphanage that is until a lost Aunt finds him and takes the young boy to live in a big house, Hitler's House at the top of the mountain. It allows the reader , my daughter, to see what damage can be done if you allow yourself do be drawn in. A story that feels so true, sad and angry, sorry for the boy one minute and utter disgust the next, it will give the reader an insight of history and what it was like for the Jews in that era, to see hurt and pain everywhere. I also read the book and it had me needing tissues one minute and anger the next. A must read.  
19th April '17
I read it myself aged 12 aged 12
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
This book is about Pierrot a young french german boy who is orphaned a the age of seven and sent of to live with his aunt.  I really loved this book because it is set in Berghof and gives you an insite into how the Germans would have felt.  This book is beautifully written an I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in the second world war.
27th July '16
I read it to Oli aged 11 aged 11
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
John Boyne is a fantastic author. From The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket his writing is so emotive and so simple.  The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is another credit to the great man!

When I say this is a gorgeous story I mean it is beautifully written.  The story itself takes you by the hand, gently nurturing you, before slamming you to the floor with the realisation of what is occurring.  The insidious nature of indoctrination from a powerful orator and a boy willing to believe.  But I've jumped ahead, we start in Paris, a small boy, his mother and his father dealing with the memories of the First World War.  The boy, Pierrot,  has a friend, Anshel Bronstein who he is close to and to whom he leaves his dog when circumstances take him away from Paris...those with a small knowledge of history in the late 1930s will understand that things are not going smoothly in Europe and Germany is on the rise under the leadership of Adolf Hitler; Anshel is finding that to be Jewish is a difficult and dangerous identity and tries to explain to Pierrot how unpleasant circumstances are becoming for him. 
Staying first at an orphanage then travelling to stay with his aunt, Pierrot comes across several unpleasant people, each in a uniform, each wielding power, which makes an impression, before finally arriving at the house where he is to stay until the end of the war.

I've been a little scant on the details, sorry for that, but this story has its fair share of horror - given the nature of the subject, WW2,  hardly surprising but the way in which you, the reader, are led to it is so well done.  How Pierrot grows up and is moulded by his surroundings despite his Aunt's guidance, her initial belief that he would be safer with her than anywhere else, and the ultimate betrayal. Shocking yes but John Boyne delivers it with absolute perfection for maximum effect, I stared at the page, watching it happen, knowing it was going to happen, powerless to stop it, along for the ride.  Brilliant. 
14th August '16
Elliemai read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
this book is really well written and i did not want to put it down.
it is very sad and dark throughout and would not be suitable for younger's
i am doing about the world wars when i go back to school so knew a little about what hitler did so it did not shock me to much but could to children who were expecting a nice warm story. 
i have not read any other books by this author but im trying to talk my mum into letting me read the boy in the stripped pyjamas but she said it is to sad so we will see. 
15th August '16
MollyB read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
Having read The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and also having seen the film and stage show I expected The Boy At The Top Of The Mountain to be another fantastic, but dark, story from John Boyne. I wasn't disappointed. The author doesn't glorify or gloss over what is happening to young orphan Pierrot when he ends up living at the Berghof with his aunt. I felt awful when I realised Pierrot was being drawn into Hitler's web and it's a very sad story to read but I loved it. I can imagine this being made into a movie like The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas was. 
9th August '16
I read it myself (an adult)
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
This was a beautiful story about a friendship that outlasted many terrible events in our history, it showed the Innocence of childhood and how adults influence how a child sees the world. I was pleased the focus wasn't about Hitler although he was a major part of the story. Pierrot's reflections at the end of the story must have been how many people felt after the war. A lovely story beautifully written and I'm very glad I read it.
21st August '17
I read it myself (an adult)
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
I think I've been spoilt by excellent books on WWI & II.  This unsophisticated story is still very impressive, being told simply and chronologically and perhaps, for that reason, will appeal more, not less, to younger readers.  (There is one incidence of swearing and a not-very-explicit description of assault, as well as mention of suicide - Pierrot's father jumps under a train and we are told that Hitler kills his dog before taking a gun and a cyanide pill.)  Younger readers may also come to the book with fewer notions about Hitler and therefore be taken in, as Pierrot/Pieter was, by the Fuhrer's apparent hospitality and his zeal to make Germany great again.  They may, in coming to realise the human cost of such zeal, see how easy it is to fall under the spell of a charismatic leader who promises so much to those who swear allegiance to him. 
As a work of fiction, it draws us into the sadness of an orphaned boy’s life and the dangers he and his best friend, Anshel, face.  For Pieter, those dangers are obvious ones like bullying and loneliness, as well as the more subtle danger of extremism; for Anshel, as a Jew in wartime Germany, the dangers are life-threatening.  Both boys might survive, but they suffer the scars and, in the end, all they can do is write the story and hope: in Pieter’s case, for forgiveness; in Anshel’s case, that such horrors will never happen again.
9th August '16
Boy read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
5 stars
This is probably my last Toppsta review because I'm 13 in less thank a week.  So thank you for the giveaway.
This book is really good.  It's hard to read because I can't imagine how Pierrot would feel.  I wonder if they will turn this into a movie too (like John Boyne's Boy in Striped Pajamas) as I would definatly watch it.
24th July '16
I read it myself (an adult)
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
4 stars
I read this book out of curiosity before I thought I might give it to my ten year old to read.
It's a fascinating read and the plot had me hooked to see what would happen next. It's by no means light reading and I think would raise a lot of questions in a child who didn't know much history from this time.
I did enjoy it though and it was well written.
18th November '17
Samhaines read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
4 stars
I found this a little bit hard to follow in parts but I think this was because of my lack of knowledge about the Second World War. It made me want to find out more from history which I did. The book was mostly great though and really really made me understand how life must have been back then. It was mysterious and scary in parts plus very sad too! I enjoyed it! 
28th July '16
Westy10 read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
4 stars
I read this book after my Mum read it first. I was curious as I knew about Hitler a bit but not a lot. At times it was quite harsh but I expected that. I found myself drawn to the storyline to see what happened to the boy
28th July '16
Yoloman read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain 9780552573504
3 stars
I really enjoy reading about WW2 but I found this book sad and dark. It wasn't what I expected from reading the back of the book. I have given it to my mum to read.
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