At the novel's beginning, we are introduced to Bruno, the main character. He is agitated because his maid is packing all his things and he doesn't understand why she is touching all his stuff. It turns out that his father is a German officer during World War II and his job requires the family to move from Berlin where Bruno grew up, to a new strange place.
Bruno moved away from his home in Berlin and was not very happy with it. He was now away from his family and friends and his new home was very different from the old one. He discovered that there was a fence with people in it, some with striped pyjamas and others with soldiers' uniforms.
One day Bruno was bored and went walking. He walked all the way to the fence where he met a boy. He was excited to know that there were people his age in his new community, but would soon find out that he was completely different than him. They developed a friendship and Bruno decided he would help him find his father.
Bruno changes out of his clothes and goes into the same striped pajamas as his friend Shmuel and the rest of the people behind the fence. He is excited to know what is on the other side of the fence and to help his friend find his father.
As they are on their journey/adventure Bruno and his friend Shmuel when heard a loud whistle and people in stripped pajamas began to march towards something so Bruno and Shmuel followed, not knowing where they were going.
At the end of the novel, Bruno and his friend Shmuel are murdered in the gas chambers aswell as the other Jews. Bruno was never heard from again and his entire family was extremely sad, and they never found out what happened to him.