The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank

November 29, 2012

By Anne Frank; edited by Otto Frank and Mirjam Pressler
Reviewed by Morgan Sherwood
Rated 2 out of 5 stars

World War II, the war against religion, has begun. If you are Jewish you must go into hiding, never to venture outside while the war is in progress, or go to a German concentration camp where you will die a long, painful death. Anne Frank, her mother, father, sister Margot, their friends Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, their son Peter, and another friend, Mr. Dussel go into hiding in the annex of Mr. Frank’s work building. No one knows about the “Secret Annex” except Miep, Jan, Bep, Mr. Kugler, Mr. Kleiman, and Mr. Voskuijl. To everyone else in the world, the Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel have fled the country. The eight of them have only the food they can get a hold of on the black market, the clothes on their backs, the help of their friends, and the string of hope that the war will eventually come to an end. At first, hiding is like a vacation, they are away from home living a great adventure. The food isn’t so bad, the families are nice, and they probably won’t even be there a year. Anne does schoolwork, reads, and writes to pass the time. Birthday presents are items such as extra sugar, butter, and if you’re lucky, a poem. Although, as time goes on, it isn’t much of an adventure any more, they learn that when people live so close to one-another there is an abundance of arguments, burglars are threateningly close to discovering their hiding place, and to top it all off, the household is running low on food. Will this war end before something else causes the extinction of the occupants of the “Secret Annex”?

Anne Frank wrote down everything that went through her head in her diary for the duration of time she was in hiding. Anne wrote all of her thoughts and feelings as if she were talking to her best friend. She explains in great detail what it would have been like to be a Jew in hiding during Hitler’s invasion of Holland and the rest of the world, as well as thoughts on other matters. What fills the diary isn’t just about hiding, but also coping, survival, and hope. Her writing style painted a clear picture in my mind of their living conditions and daily life. The editors arranged Anne’s diary entries well. I don’t think they included every entry, but they had everything that was necessary for the story to make sense. Even with these qualities, I wasn’t entirely in love with this book. In my opinion, the storyline and plot weren’t very exciting. It had its moments, but I wasn’t constantly anticipating what would happen on the next page. I never had the desire to continue reading. Anne explained the living conditions very descriptively, a little too much. There wasn’t much action, but if you like historical eye-witness accounts and are curious about what it would have been like to live in hiding, you might enjoy this book.

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