Monday 19 May 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

This April my home town of Dundalk was encouraged to read the book "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne.  Conor McAteer, who is Home/School/Community Liaison Co-ordinator for St Vincent's Secondary School has been behind a lot of what has been happening. There was a book-signing in Hughes & Hughes Bookshop along with a radio interview and poster competition.  

Niall told me about the book and the fact that there was a push to get children to read it during the month of April and we both decided to make a project out of it.  The book is a story about two nine year old boys who meet up during WWII, one a German boy, the other a Jewish boy living in a concentration camp.  I had already been reading 'The Diary of Anne Frank' to Seán and had also got lots of books out of the long term School Library about WWII.  One was about the Blitz in London, another all about the 1940's and another about a German girl who lived through WWII and lost her Nazi father.  This book and 'The Diary" book showed both Seán and me the contrast between the lives of these two girls, but also the similarities. 

For the last two years Seán's school books have touched on WWII.  Also we got a loan of a box set of DVDs all about the war and we also let Seán watch SOME parts of 'The Pianist' and all of 'The Diary' movie that was made in 1959 and which had won 3 Oscars.

So, we bought the book and I had a chat with some friends of mine and encouraged them to let their children read it too.  We ended up having my Seán, Sean Rooney, Molly and Emily reading it.  We decided to go a couple of steps further and not only get Seán to blog about it on Seán's blog, but we also planned to have our own radio show about it.

So, with books and recorder in hand we went to the book signing.  The children got to ask the author John Boyne (an Irish man) some questions, got him to sign their books and then interviewed him for the radio show!  While they were there they ended up being interviewed themselves for a show that was going out on air the next day!  They also got photos taken of
one of the winners of the poster competition, and Niall also interviewed her for the show.

We went ahead and had our live radio show on Dundalk FM100 and had a great time of it! We played parts of the recordings we made on the night of the book-signing, of the author and of Conor, played some big band music associated with WWII  and got the children to read short pieces from the book.  

All in all it was a great project to be involved in and to finish it off. We have been invited to
attend a committee meeting at the Redeemer School tomorrow to give a small talk about how we got involved with the book and all we did in relation to it!
The video below is a compilation of four short clips (about 3 and a half minutes long) taken during the Radio Show.


Kaber said...

I have been in a bit of a homeschool-blog hiatus. I am just getting back and have lost all my FAVS....

I think I will h ave to get that book for my boys to read! Ki loves war history stories!

*~Tamara~* said...

Ruth, I'm tagging you for a meme on my blog! I can't wait to read your answers!


Stephen said...

Very cool! Good job to all the readers!

Stephen said...

Tamara's blog is at: