Anne Frank, who lived for a mere 15 years, is still the most widely known and memorable representative of all the children who perished in the Holocaust. Her diary has been published in every major language in the world. In Japan she has become a cult figure for teenagers. Because of her writing talents, vivacious personality, and a typical teenage quality with which readers can easily identify, every student who comes to our Holocaust Center wishes to buy a copy of The Diary. The problem is that The Diary is best read by ages 12 and up, and so the fifth-graders who request it have to be satisfied with books that are introductions to Anne’s life and experiences, but primarily describe her story, frequently in a photo-essay format. These lack a sense of Anne’s presence. The title under review comes closer to the original than the previously noted books on two accounts. It closely resembles the format (physical appearance of the paperback edition) of The Diary, except for larger print and more white space between lines and also gracefully works into the narrative many conversational quotes and Anne’s reflections from The Diary. The sentence structure is simple enough for younger children to handle. In an Afterword, the author presents an overview of World War II and the destruction of Europe’s Jews followed by a reading list, books about Anne Frank and books about the Holocaust, both nonfiction and fiction. A list of CD ROM’s and videos as well as websites concludes this fine presentation of Anne Frank, the symbol and the person. One would wish, however, that a better grade paper would be used to avoid a premature yellowing of pages. This is too fine a book to be published on paper that will yellow and become brittle before long. For ages 8 – 12.
Marcia W. Posner, Ph.D., of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, is the library and program director. An author and playwright herself, she loves reviewing for JBW and reading all the other reviews and articles in this marvelous periodical.