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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger


I always thought I knew the story of Anne Frank, and in a way, I did. I knew about how she had lived in the Secret Annexe for two years, only to be captured so close to the end of World War II. But I never really knew Anne’s story, at least not until I read her diary. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl tells the story of a teenage girl who had a unique outlook on life, as well as a wonderful personality.

 Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday and soon made up her mind that her diary wouldn’t just be an account of what she did each day. On Saturday, 20 June, 1942, Anne writes: “I don’t want to set down a series of bald facts in a diary like most people do, but I want this diary itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty.” From then on, each entry becomes a letter to Kitty, the friend that Anne could tell anything to. In reading Anne’s diary, you become Kitty. As Kitty, you read about the Frank family going into hiding. You read about the arrival of the Van Daan family. And you read about Anne’s growing friendship with Peter Van Daan, a boy not much older than herself.

Anne was very self-aware. As she writes on Saturday, 15 July, 1944: “I have one outstanding trait in my character, which must strike anyone who knows me for any length of time, and that is my knowledge of myself. I can watch myself and my actions, just like an outsider.” While this is true, Anne could be much too hard on herself, and the people around her did nothing to improve this situation. There is one incident mentioned in the diary, where Anne writes a note to her father explaining how she has had to be self-reliant and independent. She feels her experiences have matured her beyond her fourteen years, and she feels her father should trust her. Otto Frank responds by getting very angry with Anne, telling her that she has wronged her family by thinking such things. Anne writes to Kitty afterwards to say how guilty she feels and that she thinks she was wrong to write the note. But looking at her diary, you see that everything in the note was true.

The diary comes to an end on Tuesday, 1 August, 1944. There is no abrupt or dramatic ending to the diary. Anne just signs off the same way she does on all the other entries. But for me, staring at the blank spot spreading out across the page, the death of Anne Frank seemed fresh. And I already knew that I missed her.

When I was reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, I slowed down towards the end of the book. I knew what was coming, and I didn’t want to say good bye to the girl I had come to think of as a friend and mentor. Anne Frank showed me an entirely new outlook on life that helped me understand myself. Her diary will always have a place in my home and she a place in my heart. And I know she will always be there, waiting for someone to pick up her book and read the words that I came to love.

You can bring Anne Frank alive for yourself as well, by borrowing her diary from the library. Some other books about Anne Frank are Anne Frank: the Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography, and Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree. I found these books helpful, as they provide a visual to go with the voice of Anne Frank.

Emma,

Teen Blogger

                 

 

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