The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is on the reading list at DD's school, which they read in year 7.
DD had asked to go and see the film whilst she was in Year 6, but I refused to allow her to go feeling it was too young for such a traumatic event in history to cloud the last days of her primary school life. Having been to Bergen Belsen and walked in their footsteps I understand exactly what they went through (as much as one can without enduring it onself that is!). Also, having been down to the Imperial War museum in London and taking advice from their curators about exhibits on display at the time which were not suitable for anyone under the age of 13, this again helped me to confirm my desicion (also like Mike, I hate sad things).
I had no control over what DD was reading in school, especially as I found out after she'd already read it. She has since seen the film.
We now live with periodic upsets when things happen in day-to-day life which she reflects upon and relates to that film.
Whilst it's a good book/film which tells of what life was like back then, I'm still of the opinion that it's pitched at too young an age.
However, as for the rest of the list, I don't think it's too onerous, unless of course you only have a couple of weeks