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.