Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

10 Days: Anne Frank

10 Days: Anne Frank

David Colbert
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 9 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416964452

Anne Frank heard a great deal about the Nazis and what they were doing in Germany and in other countries, but it all seemed so far away. Until May 15, 1940. On this day the Germans invaded the Netherlands, where Anne and her family lived, and her life began to change. At first, the changes were small ones, but then the Germans began to impose more and more rules, privations, and restrictions on the Dutch Jews. Anne had to stop going to school with her Dutch friends. Instead, she had to go to a Jewish school. She had to wear a yellow star on her clothes, and she was not allowed to ride a bicycle, to ride in a car, to go into a theatre, or to stay outside after dark.

All this was hard to bear, but then the Germans sent the Franks a letter saying that Anne's sister Margot had to go to the police station. Margot was going to be sent to a labor camp in Germany. Anne's father had been making preparations to hide his family, and this letter forced the Franks to leave the life they had known behind. They exchanged their life of relative freedom for a secret life in just a few hidden rooms. For twenty-five months, the Franks and another family lived in their hidden home, and Anne helped to pass the time by writing in a diary. Her words would have a profound effect on generations of readers in the years to come.

This powerful and sometimes painful book not only tells the story of Anne Frank. It also puts her story into its historical context. Readers will learn about Hilter's "Final Solution," and they will find out what it was like to be in a German concentration camp. As the author explains, it is sometimes hard to come to terms with the idea that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. However, when you put a face and a name to just one of those Jews, the story becomes real, profoundly disturbing, and sad.