With Holocaust denial spreading via the internet, it remains important for young people to learn about this period in a very concrete way.
This fact-filled biography, created by the Anne Frank House, tells the story of the girl who filled her diary with stories of the day-to-day lives of the eight Jews hiding for over two years within the “Secret Annex” and her own aspirations as a writer and as a person. The book alternates information about the Secret Annex inhabitants and Otto Frank’s loyal Dutch colleagues and employees with double-page spreads that highlight questions that young visitors ask at the Anne Frank House, from big topics like “Why did Hitler hate the Jews?” to practical concerns: “Did the people in hiding get bored?” and “How did the people in hiding get new clothes and other things?” There is contextual information about the Holocaust as well as quotes from some of Anne’s friends who survived the war. Due to the busy scrapbook layout of the book, Scarry’s color illustrations and diagrams do not always show to advantage. Moreover, perhaps because the book was produced in several languages, there are occasional awkward sentences. Despite these flaws, this book will reward its readers with an in-depth picture of the girl who became known the world over for her optimism despite her dire circumstances.
Essential reading about Anne and her times. (maps, sources) (Biography. 10-14)