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John Boyne



John Boyne
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.54

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    longlist, shortlist, allegory, bestselling, award-winning, influential, reading, writing, tends, additional, currently, numerous, influence, historical, novels, writer
     content words:    John Boyne, Young John, Silver Sword, World War II, Striped Pajamas, Trinity College, English Literature, East Anglia, Curtis Brown Prize, Matthieu Zela


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John Boyne
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Irish writer John Boyne, who was born in 1971 in Dublin, Ireland, has written eight novels as of 2010. He has also written over seventy short stories, many of which were written in his early days of writing. His achievements have been recognized with numerous awards. Boyne's success began in his own country of Ireland, but he quickly developed into an accomplished writer known worldwide.
 
2     From a very young age, Boyne loved books and writing. He would get lost in the worlds that exist in books. Young John wrote hundreds of stories. He would bind them together in groups to create the appearance of books, with his name written on the spine of each one. Boyne's bedroom bookshelf was filled with his homemade books. Unfortunately, he did not save them. Books surrounded Boyne, and he always knew he wanted to become a professional writer.
 
3     As a child, there were several books that influenced Boyne. When he was ten and hospitalized for a surgery, his mother gave him C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew to occupy his time during the one week hospital stay. Not only did Boyne love this book, by the time he recovered, he ended up reading all the Narnia books available. Boyne loved the adventure that existed in these books, but he was especially fond of reading any books that contained stories about children who were in danger and had to use their cleverness and wit to get themselves out of trouble. Another influential book for Boyne was The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. This book, which tells the story of four children attempting to flee Poland during World War II, includes not only adventure, but also contains information from history, something of growing interest to Boyne during his childhood. Looking back, Boyne now believes that The Silver Sword was the most important book of his childhood. It got Boyne thinking about the brave actions of the children. He wondered if he would be as brave as the children in the book. This book was an influence in the writing of Boyne's fifth book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006), an historical allegory of Berlin in 1942 and the terrible events that took place in human history.

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