ANNEXED by Sharon Dogar


Age Range: 12 & up
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A bold move. Dogar writes with respect, but to tell the story of Anne Frank and her companions in the Annex from Peter Van Pels’s perspective invites controversy, which may overshadow the story itself. Peter’s dying thoughts (completely imagined, as there is little documentation of his life after the Annex was raided) are interspersed with events readers will likely recognize from Anne’s diary, but in Peter’s eyes Anne annoys as well as enchants. Less hopeful than Anne, Peter mostly thinks about his burgeoning sexuality and his loss of faith. The author’s writing is assured and at times poetic, and it truly soars in the wrenching and powerful (and fully fictional) camp scenes; knowing the characters and outcome from the outset robs the Annex portion of the story of some depth and nuance. As a companion to Anne’s diary, this fascinating read raises great questions about truth, narrative and perspective, but it may strike some as exploitative, needless or otherwise questionable. Ultimately powerful, but much of this feels like an exercise despite the love and artistry apparent in the writing. (preface, epilogue, author’s note, further reading) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-50195-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2010


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