Anne Frank: A Light in the Dark

Tama­ra Leigh Hollingsworth
  • Review
By – October 31, 2013

This suc­cinct, high­ly read­able biog­ra­phy pro­vides an ade­quate intro­duc­tion to Anne Frank. Suf­fi­cient back­ground infor­ma­tion enables read­ers to place Anne Frank’s life in his­tor­i­cal con­text and gain some knowl­edge of what life was like for Jews in hid­ing dur­ing Hit­ler’s reign of ter­ror. Archival and con­tem­po­rary pho­tos enhance the text though the qual­i­ty is incon­sis­tent. Addi­tion­al­ly, the com­put­er gen­er­at­ed graph­ics used to illus­trate the floor plan of the Secret Annex and the time line of Anne’s life are unso­phis­ti­cat­ed and don’t match the tone of the rest of the book. Cap­tions, textbox­es, and quotes from Anne’s diary are gen­er­ous­ly placed on every page. A Stop! Think” fea­ture pos­es ques­tions to read­ers such as What belong­ings would you bring with you if you need­ed to hide?” and Why do you think Anne loved sit­ting near the win­dow?” while the Dig Deep­er” fea­ture pro­vides read­ers with addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about Anne’s diary and the chest­nut tree out­side the Secret Annex. A glos­sary, index, bib­li­og­ra­phy, and list of web­sites are append­ed. One incon­sis­ten­cy in the text should be not­ed: the author indi­cates that Anne’s fam­i­ly had lived in Frank­fort for over 100 years (p.4) but lat­er states that the Frank fam­i­ly had lived in Frank­fort for over 300 years” (p.6). While biogra­phies of Anne Frank for young read­ers are plen­ti­ful, this offer­ing will hope­ful­ly moti­vate read­ers to turn to more in-depths accounts such as Anne Frank: A Hid­den Life by Mir­jam Pressler and the diary itself. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 9 – 13.

Rachel Kamin has been a syn­a­gogue librar­i­an and Jew­ish edu­ca­tor for over twen­ty-five years and has worked at North Sub­ur­ban Syn­a­gogue Beth El in High­land Park, IL since 2008, cur­rent­ly serv­ing as the Direc­tor of Life­long Learn­ing. A past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee and past edi­tor of Book Reviews for Chil­dren & Teens for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries News & Reviews, her arti­cles and book reviews appear in numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions. She has been a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Com­mit­tee since 2021.

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