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 8-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 8 Summary: “The Brown Paper Package”

Nearly a year after moving to Berghof, Pierrot is getting along relatively well. He has settled into a routine centered on school in Berchtesgaden, where he doesn’t exactly fit in, but experiences only mild bullying for having a French accent. One girl, Katarina Holzmann, even befriends him. At Berghof, he spends much of his time roaming the beautiful wilderness. He has stopped replying to Anshel’s letters, feeling distant from the dire circumstances in Paris that his friend describes.

While Eva Braun talks to Pierrot as though he were just a cute little boy, Hitler takes a liking to him and begins to share his ideology with Pierrot. At the same time, Pierrot learns more about Hitler’s past and why the Berghof servants are so frightened of him. For instance, Emma tells him that Hitler had dismissed a previous chauffeur for becoming romantically interested in his beloved niece, Geli, and that Hitler “refused to allow her out of his sight,” ultimately driving her to shoot herself “through the heart” (130). Beatrix notices that Pierrot is becoming close to Hitler, and she suggests her nephew not spend so much time with him—advice he ignores.

Hitler asks to see Pierrot one day.