Book review: Anne Frank. Her life in pictures.

“I want to go on living even after my death.” 
Anne Frank (1929-1945)

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Anne Frank was thirteen when she started writing in her famous diary, fifteen when she died in a German concentration camp.

I was that age when I learned about the holocaust. I watched in horror as black and white images of Hitler and prisoners of concentration camps — dead and dying — flickered on my parent’s television screen.

Evil had seeped into my safe suburban living room. It shook me to my very core, made me question my understanding of the world as a safe and just place.

Then, like many Canadian kids my age, I was introduced to Anne’s diary. Though she lived in another time and place, her story was totally relatable to me. We were both teenage girls. We both loved to write. We both kept diaries as our closest friends and confidants. We both dreamed of being a journalist. Yet, while I lived in safety and freedom, she lived in fear and captivity. While I had my whole life ahead of me, hers was cut tragically short.

And yet, what surprised me most, she was not without hope. Despite her personal tragedy, she still saw good in the world. And so should I. It lit a fire in me — igniting a passion for human rights, tolerance, and speaking truth to power.

Her words have lived on to impact generations of children the world over.

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In 2010, Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam launched a gripping graphic novel of Anne’s life aimed at a new generation of teenagers.

A word of caution – there are disturbing visual images in the book, so this is not for young children.

Told surprising well in comic book styleanne frank depicts the rise of anti-semitism, Naziism, the holocaust and one family’s struggle to survive — before, during and after the Second World War.

Author Sid Jacobson and illustrator Ernie Colon piece together this complex story in a simple, yet compelling way. The facts are all here, along with fascinating anecdotal information, garnered directly from Anne’s diary, archival documents and photographs.

Take a look inside:

The Frank family makes the difficult decision to uproot themselves from their beloved Germany to the Netherlands in 1933:

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Their safe haven comes to an end with the German occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940…bit by bit their freedoms are eroded:

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On July 6, 1942, the family goes into hiding in Otto Frank’s office:

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Anne makes the best of a bad situation:

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She discovers her gift for writing:

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After two years, they were betrayed and transported to concentration camps:

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The majority of Jews from the Netherlands did not survive the Holocaust, and Anne Frank suffered the same fate. She died in March 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, just weeks before liberation.

Her father, Otto, was the only survivor from the Frank family. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam where he discovered his daughter’s diary and took on the difficult task of reading her most private thoughts:

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He transcribed, compiled and edited Anne’s words, and sought out a publisher. Her diary was first published in 1947. Since then, it has been published in more than 60 different languages.

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Her story lives on.

5 comments

  1. Such a valuable post.
    My father was staioned at belesen after the war, as part of the occupation Amry.. we lived in the Beast of Belsen’s house. It wasn’t called Bergen- Belsen then – just Belsen… Bergen was the nearest small town, where the inhabitants said they knew nothing of it. As my stepmother said, after hearing from one woman about watching the trains going past with their poor wounded soldiers, ” if they saw those trains, how come they didn’t see the other ones..?”.

  2. This is an excellent book to promote! comic books are a great way to get children interested in reading and especially on factual and historic topics, it explains so much more through graphic images. I loved the way you described your personal relationship with Anne. I think every girl who read her diary at that age, felt the same. thank you for helping keeping history alive!

    • It is a wonderful book for older children, and adults too! I am a visual learner, and sometimes challenged by a lot of text (believe it or not!) and so I love graphic novels. Thanks for your lovely comment, as ever!

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