Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Home Gift Guide Off to College Home Gift Guide Book House Cleaning TheTick TheTick TheTick  Amazon Echo now $99.99 Limited-time offer: All-New Fire 7, starting at $39.99 Kindle Paperwhite GNO Tailgating STEMClubToys17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 1,558 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,526 reviews
on October 3, 2016
I first read this book (the edited down version) when I was nine years old, I received the book as a gift, and again when I was twelve for school. I recently re-read the book (the new un-edited version) and coming from an entirely different perspective now that I am a thirty year old mother.

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.
55 comments| 108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 17, 2017
An amazingly talented young writer. The struggles, emotions and fears are so well described by someone so young... but this fact, has been mentioned by many other reviewers.

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...
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2017
This is such a great book! I'd never read it; only saw the movie before. This was on my son's reading list, so I decided to finally read it. I'm only halfway through, but it is so powerful!! The grace and wisdom with which she writes seems far beyond her years. I don't know if that is solely her own work, or additional creativity from those who rewrote/translated it. Regardless, it really tells the story from the inside while also showing how much fight and hope they clung to in a desperate situation. It also showcases the trials of living in tight spaces as my family has had to deal with recently, and reveals additional perspectives of that kind of situation.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 2, 2013
The diary of Anne Frank is still a major cultural touchstone, almost 70 years after it was written. Even in the past year we've had controversies about Justin Bieber's ill-considered message left at the Secret Annex, or the "Hipster Anne Frank" Twitter feed. And then, of course, there are always the Truthers, primarily neo-Nazi types, eager to claim that the entire diary was made up out of whole cloth after the war.

This review is of The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. The original version published in the US in the mid-'50s was edited by Otto Frank, Anne's father, who was the only Annex resident to survive the Holocaust. That edition removed a lot of Anne's deeper thoughts about her own family and her own maturation process. The Definitive Edition re-instates that material, but is still a combination of Anne's personal diary, and the version that she herself rewrote in the Annex in 1944 with an eye toward publication after the war (complete with pseudonyms). There is also The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition, evidently the unexpurgated text of her personal diary, which I have not yet encountered.

The diary begins in June 1942, centering on Anne's school life and on the restrictions imposed on Dutch Jews during German occupation. A month later, she and her family go into hiding, and are soon joined by the Van Pels family and, later, by Dr. Pfeffer, an ill-mannered dentist. With eight people living in such a cramped space, personal conflicts soon emerge, and Anne chronicles these in great detail. It's to Anne's credit (and she was only between the ages of 13 and 15 when she wrote) that she's able to view the conflicts from multiple angles - and, as the youngest person in hiding, she was often the target of unwanted criticism from her fellow refugees, so her objectivity and empathy are remarkable.

From the Annex windows, and from the reports of their non-Jewish helpers, Anne chronicles what's going on in the outside world - the forced disappearances of the Jewish population, the reports of concentration camps and death chambers, and the ever-so-slow liberation of Nazi-occupied territory by the Allies. D-Day and its aftermath in June 1944 gives the Annex residents false hope, bitterly false hope, that they can outlast the Nazis and emerge from hiding. At the same time, Amsterdam is literally starving under German occupation, and the warehouse and offices in which the Annex is housed is too tempting for burglars, so it is hard for their presence to remain a secret forever...

For the first 18 months in hiding, Anne's diary is somewhat sparse, with many months containing only two to three entries. Interestingly, the Franks and the other Annex residents were assimilated rather than observant Jews, and the diary spends more time discussing Christmas than Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. I don't think I'd been aware of that before. About half the material in this version comes from 1944 alone. Anne's musings on religion, the Jewish cause (in spite of her lack of personal observance), feminism, her own personality (she famous described herself as "a bundle of contradictions"), and her relationship with Peter Van Pels, the teenage boy in the Annex, are remarkably strong, and call out across the years to today's reader. The destruction of her potential by the Nazis (she died of typhus in a concentration camp weeks before its liberation by the Allies) remains sickening.

Even after 70 years, this remains one of the most important wartime chronicles, and one of the most honest, heartfelt memoirs, ever written.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 28, 2016
I first read this when I was 10 and felt so connected to Anne. I was obsessed for a while with learning more about her life. I'm 36 now and reading it again for the first time. I think it effects me even deeper now. Watching her grow and mature far beyond her young years. It's eerie and tragic reading her talk about her dreams to be a famous writer someday that she thinks will never happen. It's heartbreaking knowing she never knew that her journal did indeed bring her that fame as she once spoke of. I relate to so many of her thoughts and feelings. I feel like I'm there in the secret annex with her and as though she's speaking to me, as I'm sure millions before me have felt. This is a truthful view into the human soul and life of us all that I think is relatable to everyone that nobody should skip. It's a mandatory read as far as I'm concerned.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 26, 2013
I downloaded and re-read this book after visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Annex where she hid out until her betrayal and arrest.
It was eerie seeing the same neighborhood sights, hearing the same church bells that she wrote about. I really don't think you can appreciate her precocious insight and the poignancy of this book unless you are reading it as a father of a teenage daughter.
"A voice in me screams: go outside," she wrote after years of claustrophobic isolation. It must have been like living in a submarine. "Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I’m terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we’ll be shot. That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect."
"In the evenings when it’s dark, I often see long lines of good, innocent people, accompanied by crying children, walking on and on, ordered about by a handful of men who bully and beat them until they nearly drop. No one is spared. The sick, the elderly, children, babies and pregnant women—all are marched to their death... I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed, while somewhere out there my dearest friends are dropping from exhaustion or being knocked to the ground. I get frightened myself when I think of close friends who are now at the mercy of the cruelest monsters ever to stalk the earth. And all because they’re Jews."
She tried to imagine a postwar world but it became increasingly difficult. "I simply can't imagine the world will ever be normal again for us," she wrote on 8 November 1943. "I do talk about 'after the war' but it's as if I were talking about a castle in the air, something that can never come true."
Yet the striking thing about the diary is its banality, how life went on despite the terror beyond the secret annex. After a fight with her father in March 1944 she wrote him a letter declaring "You must not and cannot regard me as 14. I've grown older because of all the misery."
She even learned shorthand through a weekly correspondence course (in one of her helper's names of course): "I’m also working away at my shorthand, which I enjoy. Of the three of us, I’ve made the most progress."
She had an innocent, child's sort of faith, although she admitted not knowing why those who seemed as devout as anyone (she was from a liberal, assimilated family) were dying: "I can’t help her [a friend who had been arrested but would ironically survive]. I can only stand by and watch while other people suffer and die. All I can do is pray to God to bring her back to us...Dear God, I have everything I could wish for, while fate has her in its deadly clutches. She was as devout as I am, maybe even more so, and she too wanted to do what was right. But then why have I been chosen to live, while she’s probably going to die? What’s the difference between us? Why are we now so far apart?" She had survivor's guilt yet the irony of course was that her survival was not assured. "God has not forsaken me, and He never will," she wrote four months before she was to be arrested and less than a year before she would die.
On 4 August 1944 at 10:30 am following a tip from someone whose identity remains unknown, she and her family were arrested by three Dutch agents and an Austrian SS officer.
They were sent to Auschwitz but as the Russian troops approached, Anne and her sister were transferred to Bergen-Belsen.
Otto Frank, her father, was the only one of those in hiding to survive. He was saved on 27 January 1945 when Auschwitz was liberated; he was in the infirmary at the time.
Auschwitz in January, 1945; there were only 7,650 survivors.
He didn't know it at the time but his daughter, Anne, was still alive.
In fact, a childhood friend, Hannah Gosler, who was Jewish but also had Paraguayan citizenship so was kept in a better camp neighboring Bergen-Belsen, managed to meet her twice, tossing a Red Cross package over the barbed wire. Her sister had died, Anne said, and now she had no one. It just wasn't right. She didn't know that her father was still alive. She died of typhus two months after her father had been liberated, in March 1945 at Bergen-Belsen. Her sister died in February 1945 of the same cause.
Peter van Pels who appears prominently in her diary almost made it, but died on 5 May 1945 in a camp in Austria.
On 21 May 1945, Anne's father Otto wrote to his mother in Basel, Switzerland:
Otto Frank wandered back to Amsterdam where he arrived on 3 June 1945
to a joyful reunion with those who had helped him. All had survived. He learned en route that his wife had died, but he had heard nothing about his daughters, so waited.
It's been translated into about 75 languages and made into numerous plays and movies, including one that won Shelley Winters an Oscar for her portrayal of Mrs. Van Dan. The actress donated the Oscar to the museum and there it was - a shiny gold Oscar up close and personal.
There are countless Anne Franks out there right now, children and young people growing up in war and occupation, targeted for death by people they have never met simply because they are the wrong religion, ethnicity, political party, or sexual orientation (a memorial to the tens of thousands of homosexuals murdered by the Nazis was also nearby). The horror of her story is not its uniqueness but its almost mind-numbing regularity before and since World War II. Our species has this strange compulsion to round up and kill other members of our own species, something unique in the animal world (except among other primates), for the most arbitrary of reasons. If we don't acknowledge, study, and dismantle this compulsion, the cycle of industrialized cruelty will continue.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 11, 2016
The Diary of a Young Girl was an interesting book filled with details and suspense. The book was sad knowing the reason the Franks are in hiding. But it was also interesting because Anne was a great writer and the way she expressed her feelings through the book is amazing while staying positive too. The book got suspenseful when they would get frightened when things in the outside world would happen.
A couple of reasons why the book wasn't so good is... although the book was interesting it got boring at times. She would write about the same things every day and nothing exciting really happened until the end and twice in the middle. What I thought I was going to read was about the history of her story and small sections of her diary but, that's not what it was; it was her actually diary of the two years she was in hiding. The book was also hard to read with the dialogue she used.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes history and already knows the story but, just wants to hear her perspective on it. I also want to add that the language is hard to understand so being a reader with higher reading ability would help.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 22, 2014
I delayed about 45 years in reading Anne Frank's diary. Too painful, knowing that they would all be captured, sent to the camps, and only Papa Frank would survive. That was a silly reason.

This is extraordinary. Every entry, from Anne's first through the later entries -- after she had become a teenager.

Still, I had to stop now and again to weep.

One incident: on March 27, 1943, members of the resistance group led by Willem Arondeus blew up a birth records office in Amsterdam. Anne could see the light from the fire, and learned that the Amsterdam fire department had poured so much water on the building that any records that survived the explosions were washed to a pulp. Anne recorded her happiness.

It happens that my mother and father-in-law were members of the Arondeus Group, although they did not participate in the bombing. They were hiding-in-plain-sight two children and my mother-in-law was pregnant. I learned the story almost 40 years ago, and then met the one survivor: Anns Roos ("Anje Roos Jeerling" in some accounts). Anns was sent to a factory in Germany because, at least in 1943, the Nazis would not execute an "aryan" woman. The rest of the resistance group were shot, after a show trial that July -- including her brother Cornelius.

At the trial Willem Arondeus, who was gay, said, "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards". (See Wikipedia)

I am delighted to know that Anne Frank could see the light from the fire, and felt hope, and even had a laugh.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 18, 2016
This was one of my favorite books growing up. My daughter has recently shown an interest in German things because we have some German heritage and I thought it would be a great time for her to read this book. This book is the actually diary of a 13-year old girl growing up Jewish in Germany during the Holocaust. It is her first-hand account of her and her family's experience of going into hiding and being in hiding while the Jewish were being sought out and herded into concentration camps. It is really an amazing true-life story.

I read this book several times as a young teen and could probably read it again as an adult.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 26, 2015
An amazing read and an amazing glimpse of what life is like in hiding. This book tells this bit of history way better than any historian's documentary. Very well written. It's hard to believe that a child actually wrote these diary entries. This child wrote in detail for 2 years about life in hiding. I got goose bumps each time I read when she wrote something like "I'm sure no one will even read this diary" or "no one will even see this". It's 70 years later and Anne's diary is still being read. I'm so glad that I read this as an adult. "Dear Kitty", I will never forget.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse