Anne Frank: Hero­ic Diarist of the Holocaust

Hope Lourie Killcoyne
  • Review
By – July 12, 2016

What could be new about the diary of Anne Frank after all the pub­li­ca­tions thus far? Although the diary is men­tioned and pic­tures of Anne are dis­played, the val­ue of this book is the con­text of the peri­od, which is well empha­sized. There are won­der­ful pho­tographs that frame the era and update post­war events. We see pic­tures of women and chil­dren wait­ing in line to be processed at Auschwitz, the Nazi troops in Ams­ter­dam, and a pic­ture of Miep Gies a friend and helper of the Franks, which was tak­en in 1994. The book focus­es on the iden­ti­ty of the Aus­tri­an police offi­cer who arrest­ed the peo­ple in the secret annex”, shows a cur­rent exte­ri­or of the Anne Frank house and fea­tures its present sta­tus as a muse­um. There is even a pic­ture tak­en in 2012 of a close friend of Anne’s plant­i­ng a tree next to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

There is a sec­tion called Quick Facts, which con­tains high­light­ed expla­na­tions. For exam­ple, words such as diary” and Holo­caust” are defined for chil­dren who may not be ful­ly famil­iar with the terms and an expla­na­tion is giv­en of Anne’s diary and how it includ­ed pho­tographs. It gives infor­ma­tion on Otto Frank, Anne’s father, and explains that he was the only sur­vivor of the family. 

Part of a series called Bri­tan­ni­ca Begin­ner Bios, this is an excel­lent intro­duc­tion to Anne’s per­son­al life and to some of the basic his­tor­i­cal issues of the time. It is clear and fac­tu­al with­out being too graph­ic. It does a fine job of bring­ing new infor­ma­tion to young read­ers in a non­threat­en­ing way. The mes­sage that comes through clear­ly encour­ages hope and tolerance.

Rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren 9 – 12 years. 

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions