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.
It’s impossible to put down: devastating and devastatingly good, one of my top three children’s novels of the year so far . . . A difficult story to pull off, but with his perfect pacing, lack of sentimentality and refusal to submit to a neat end, Boyne has won me over – all over again
A remarkable feat . . . Compelling
Disturbingly vivid, utterly readable and appealing to audiences of all ages
There is a sureness and a simplicity to the writing that is very impressive . . . In The Boy at the Top of the Mountain, Boyne has delivered a powerful account of how one boy was seduced by Hitler and Nazism and paid the price. The final pages, in which he meets the Jewish friend of his boyhood and seeks redemption, are very moving. Younger readers will lament the corruption of Pierrot; older ones will perceive what Boyne is trying to tell us: if this could happen to Pierrot, it could happen to us
An affecting morality tale . . . It is the chilling portrayal of adolescent corruption and atonement that lingers
From John Boyne to Jan Carson, here are four books the Penguin Ireland team can’t wait to start reading this Spring.
John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky tells a timely tale of the lies, ambition and manipulation of a ruthless writer with great talent but no imagination. Maurice Swift, a would-be author who befriends an older novelist to further his career is the main character. Here, John Boyne introduces an extract by explaining his motivation.