Saturday, June 27, 2009

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Rating: 5 out of 5
Pages: 308
Genre: Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Publication Date: 1947

Synopsis (From Google Books):
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.


When I review "Beloved" by Toni Morrison back in February. I told the story about how my grandmother use to try and force me to read books written by black authors when I was younger. The one book that I remember that my grandmother tried to get me to read that was not by or about black people was Anne Frank's Diary. I honestly remember reading the first few entries and thinking that the it was boring and putting it aside to never be opened again. Fast forward between 10 to 15 years later and I decide to add it to my reading list because of the Round The World Challenge. And boy, I was not disappointed.

"Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" is to powerful to be adequately expressed in words. In fact it was so powerful that I finished reading it one June 8th and am just attempting to write a review. At the end I was in tears and so sad. The power in the story is not just not that Anne Frank dies in a concentration camp (I don't think this is a spoiler since it should be common knowledge) but in the hope and fear that Frank express throughout the diary.

The story is compelling because Anne Frank the reader gets to see a 13 year old girl develop while hiding in a back attic (apartment) during the holocaust. The reader gets to see her go though all the emotional and developmental changes that teenage girls go through. They get to read about her dream of being a reporter. Her appreciation for the Dutch people for not only hiding them but taking them in as refuges before the Germans conquered the country. Anne expresses her disassociation with her parents and the mixed feelings that age and Independence bring to the parent-child relationship. It is all there pain, hope, frustration, happiness.

Even knowing how Anne's story ends I couldn't help but hoping for her.

On another note: I really enjoy reading not only nonfiction books but also historical fiction but sometimes they put the world in order. For instance I know the time period that the holocaust happen. I know about Gandhi. But to put them together and to see how Gandhi's words affected Anne Frank and her family is eye opening. When in school there is a tendency to look at bits and pieces of history and disconnect places and events. Reading story like this mesh them together and gives people a boarder more encompassing view of the world.

Pros: Writing, Characters, Everything
Cons: Sad

Overall Recommendation:

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is most definitely now a favorite book. It is a real tear jerkier so keep a box of tissues with you and don't read it in a public place.

Decades '09 (6 out of 9 books)
Library Challenge (16 out of 25 books)
Round the World Challenge (6 out of 18 books)

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