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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1993
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A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith
From Publishers Weekly
This startling new edition of Dutch Jewish teenager Anne Frank's classic diary?written in an Amsterdam warehouse, where for two years she hid from the Nazis with her family and friends?contains approximately 30% more material than the original 1947 edition. It completely revises our understanding of one of the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. The Anne we meet here is much more sarcastic, rebellious and vulnerable than the sensitive diarist beloved by millions. She rages at her mother, Edith, smolders with jealous resentment toward her sister, Margot, and unleashes acid comments at her roommates. Expanded entries provide a fuller picture of the tensions and quarrels among the eight people in hiding. Anne, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, three months before her 16th birthday, candidly discusses her awakening sexuality in entries that were omitted from the 1947 edition by her father, Otto, the only one of the eight to survive the death camps. He died in 1980. This crisp, stunning translation provides an unvarnished picture of life in the "secret annex." In the end, Anne's teen angst pales beside her profound insights, her self-discovery and her unbroken faith in good triumphing over evil. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, I want to say that I absolutely believe that this book should still be included in school curriculum. The only thing 'new' about it is that pages and passages were added. Nothing was taken out and the translation was not changed. Reports that the book is so different that it's nothing like the original are false. Reports that the story is different are false.
There is no reason for the edited version to still be used because children read Anne Frank's diary around ages 11-14 years old which was around age when Anne herself was writing the diary. Anything that could be seen as supposedly "inappropriate" can be seen on daytime television with a PG or maybe PG-13 rating. Especially these days, there's definitely nothing in there that is beyond the norm for the average tween-teen. I think that continuing to use an edited version is insulting to Anne Frank's memory. Not only that, but it provides valuable information about the time period and gives more relateability to the diary.
The passages which are included in the new version are not anything that the average 8-12 year old girl does not already know about her own body and the "birds and the bees", and are so few and short that they comprise a tiny percentage of the work itself. The romance between herself and Peter is very chaste and nothing untoward happens in the story. (Spoiler: they hold hands and a kiss a few times. that's it.) The passages that some see as inappropriate are not at all titillating, a medical textbook is more erotic. Coming from a mom's point of view, I would definitely allow my daughter to read the unedited book.
I think this should stay on school book lists because some kids these days see the Holocaust as something that happened a long time ago that is meaningless now, without realizing that genocides and racial motivated violence still happens every day. I think it seems to them like just another thing they have to learn about along with The Hundred Years War and the Crusades.
Anne Frank's diary gives kids perspective and helps makes the tragic loss of life during WWII a tangible thing they can understand. The diary is so relate-able and reflects so many feelings that all teens have had, that she becomes three dimensional to them and no longer a just some person that died a long time ago. This sensitivity towards the loss of a life is what we need now in the times we live in.
As we read the diary we see how much potential was lost not only in Anne but in her entire family. Anne Frank was an intelligent and well-read young woman who studied multiple languages and had an analytical mind. I believe we lost a shining beacon of women's intelligence when she died. She was an emerging feminist, activist, and writer! I think she would have been an amazing woman who would have gone on to do great things. All that potential was lost millions of times over during WWII, and this is what we feel deep in our hearts upon closing the book.
Most of the book is about the privations and hardship of living hidden away in the "annex". There is very little coverage of the violence of the times or much that is going on in the outside world because they had little knowledge of it since they were hidden. I think this is partly why some schoolchildren report the diary is boring. It does get repetitive at times, which reflects the feelings of those living in hiding. They had to wait and wait in fear, not knowing what the next day would bring.
There are many self-reflective passages where Anne laments being picked on by the adults in the annex, wondering if she will live up to the expectations they have for her, hoping she can reach her goals. There is a thread of hope apparent even in her most depressing writings. I think these are the parts I think teens find most relate-able because all teens want to achieve things, please their parents, and find hope in their moments of despair.
Toward the end of the diary we see just how difficult things have become for the family which is not always accurately represented in the movie versions of the diary. They were starving, never full at meals, and having to exist off moldy and tasteless food. There was one bathroom for eight people and at times the toilet could not be flushed. They had threadbare, holey clothing which was too small. The cat used the bathroom wherever it wanted towards the end, and their helpers came less and less frequently as circumstances got worse and worse. Their conditions deteriorated in ways that children living in the comfort of the 21st century could never imagine. It's so important for kids to read about these conditions and contrast them with their own in order to not only feel grateful but to feel sympathy for those who lived in these terrible times.
The Kindle version had fairly large print and worked just fine on my phone and tablet with no issues. The new version has a new introduction and I believe the epilogue has changed a bit as well. I enjoyed the footnotes feature which allows you to touch the number which takes you to the footnotes page, then when you touch the number again it takes you back to the page you were originally on. I had no problems purchasing or downloading.
If you want to know more about what happened to Anne Frank after the diary, there is a book called "The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank" by Willy Lindwer which includes stories from people who met her in the camps.
Another recommendation is the author Eva Schloss who was Anne Frank's stepsister, who wrote about surviving Auschwitz.
What I'd like to add is, it's not surprising to me that Anne wrote so well; this is not a fiction after all; it was her life.
It was a daily struggle to endure and maintain sanity; it didn't happen. How could it? So many people? In such a relatively small, confined space, had no hope but to lose sight of reality to a greater or lesser degree (dependent on the strength of each individual).
Anne herself, was dealing (not only) with the horror of war on the outside of their hideout, but also with the confusion of being a teenager, plus, the difficulty of having to share close quarters with multiple personalities.
What surprises me, is that they managed to exist for as long as they did.
A horrid and frightening glimpse into the world of a handful of people, who tried, valiantly, to survive genocide...
This was one of those books that you can't easily put into words. It really needs to be read in order to really understand and feel. I was very aware of Anne's story and the outcome but it in no way prepared me for when the diary abruptly ended.
In reality, Anne was a typical young teenage girl who was forced to grow up physically and emotionally in the most unthinkable of situations. You could easily see her inner turmoil through her writing and I found it quite sad and depressing. Knowing the outcome, I found it sad that she would never get to repair her wounded relationship with her mother or find her one great love. It was also easy to see her personal growth from the time they went into hiding to when the diary ended.
I'll keep my thoughts brief but I will say that Anne's personality was larger than life and I am glad that her diaries survived to tell her story. It was her dream to become a journalist or author when she grew up and came out of hiding and although her story ended tragically, her dream really did come true. Her diary has been read by millions of people.
Afterthought- Anne also did an incredible job of describing the annex in which they hid. When I finished the book I googled it to get a better visual and found that it looked exactly how I pictured it in my mind.