The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (new read)
I don’t feel like there are many people who don’t know anything about this book, so I will make the synopsis brief.
Anne Frank had to flee her home and go into hiding with her family when the Nazis invaded Holland during World War II. They spent over two years living in what came to be known as “The Secret Annexe.” This book is the collection of entries from her diary that she received on her thirteenth birthday, which just happened to be about three weeks or so before they went into hiding.
There are many things that struck me about this book. The first — how eloquent Anne was. She was so young, but such a talented writer. Her vocabulary, phrasing and overall ideas about ideas reached well beyond her short years. On the flip side though, many times she wrote about things you would expect from most teenage girls: love and longing, movie stars, friendship, the day to day. She often wrote about feeling that she had two personalities, which was reflected in the diary.
While some entries were difficult to make it through, other days had me flipping feverishly to see what was going to happen. As optimistic as her worldview was, at the same time, it was as if she knew she wasn’t going to make it. Her last few entries were so reflective and a perfect conclusion to this life cut short.
I was very grateful that the book included a multiple page afterword to let the reader know what happened to all of the “characters,” and the impact that the book has had since publication.
It’s shocking to me that I have never read this book before now. I think it should be required reading in middle or high school during a study of World War II. I can’t think of many other primary sources that hold the impact that this book does.
VERDICT: Thinking about what this book actually is, it’s kind of a weird thing to include, as it was never something intended for publication. However, it’s actually more well written than some of the other things I’ve read thus far. I think it should be included on the list as its historical impact cannot be matched by another young adult.