Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Anne Frank: The Young Writer Who told the World Her Story

Anne Frank: The Young Writer Who told the World Her Story

Ann Kramer
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
National Geographic, 2007   ISBN: 978-1426300042

Anne Frank was a bright and lively girl who loved to spend time with her friends, who was close to the members of her family, and who thought she might become a writer or a journalist when she grew up. Anne was born in Germany and it is likely that her family would have stayed there had they not been forced to leave because of what was happening in that country in the 1930’s.

When the Nazi party came to power, its leader, Adolf Hitler decided to blame the woes of the country on the Jews. He said that the Jewish people were an inferior race and he systematically set about removing the Jews from German society. The situation became so unbearable and so dangerous that the Frank family decided to move to Holland where they hoped that would be able to have a better life.

All went well for some six years until Hitler’s army invaded Holland in 1940. The German’s assured the Dutch that life would “continue as usual” but this did not happen and it was not long before Jews were being singled out for special treatment. Anne and her sister Margot had to leave their schools and all Jews had to wear a Star of David on their clothes. Then the deportations started and Mr. Frank began to make preparations to hide his family. The place he chose was in an annex behind his office and in January 1942 the Franks, another Jewish family, and a Jewish dentist all went into hiding in this “Secret Annex” as Anne liked to call it. There they remained for two years until the Gestapo found them on August 4th, 1944. During her time in the annex Anne wrote about her feelings and experiences in a diary, a diary which has subsequently been read by millions of people around the world.

This wonderful title from the “National Geographic World History Biographies” series not only tells Anne Frank’s story with great sympathy and understanding, but it also helps readers to understand what was happening in Europe during Anne’s lifetime. Readers will get a sense of what it must have been like to be a Jew in Germany when the Nazi’s were taking over and how terrifying it must have been for Anne’s parents who tried so hard to give Anne and her sister a normal and happy childhood. They did their best to protect their daughters, to educate them well, to let them have fun with their friends, and yet, in the end, they could not protect them from the horrors of war.