82 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Boy at The Top of the Mountain

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2015

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Chapters 11-14Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary: “A Special Project”

In 1942, Pierrot is now 13. He has risen through the ranks of the Hitlerjugend to become a Scharführer, or squadron leader, in the organization. In his case, however, the distinction is honorary, bestowed upon him by Hitler; Pierrot does not actually lead any other Nazi youth. When a group of high-ranking Nazi officials gather at Berghof for a meeting, one of them even makes fun of Pierrot for having a meaningless title. Later that day, the man’s “tone triggered a memory in his head” and Pierrot recalls him as the man who stepped on his hand on the train platform years ago (210).

Pierrot asks Hitler for more responsibilities, but the Führer responds that he is not yet a man and thus not ready to take on more. Feeling belittled and looking for some way to feel important, Pierrot talks down to Emma after she scolds him for rummaging for food in the kitchen. He sharply orders her to make him a sandwich; after she refuses, he yells at her. She complies out of fright and gives him a letter from Anshel, but Pierrot demands she burn it. Infuriated when she calls Anshel “that old friend of yours in Paris,” Pierrot knocks her down (203).