I flopped on the couch and opened a small, battered book. After reading the first page, I came to an excerpt that troubled me greatly: “It seems to me that neither I—nor anyone else for that matter—will be interested in the unbosoming of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl” (2). I felt a pang of sadness. Anne, you were so, so, wrong.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is the original diary of Anne Frank. Anne was a young Jewish girl who lived in Holland during World War II. When the Nazis started deporting Jews to concentration camps, Anne and her family went into hiding. The Franks, Van Daans (another family), and Mr. Dussel (a cranky dentist) spent two years together crammed into a small apartment, the “Secret Annexe.” Anne writes through it all . . .
Anne had a strong and direct style of writing—something my own diary does not specialize in, since I like to dwell on details in a roundabout way. But Anne does not beat about the bush. Her descriptions of situations and people are, well, frank. I love her descriptions of Mrs. Priscilla Van Daan: a flirt, a coward, a chatterbox. Every time I read about Mrs. Van Daan I start laughing; she really seems like quite a despicable person.
Anne’s diary is incredibly easy to relate to. Anne pours all her emotions into it, and the text sometimes overflows with them. She is angry at Mrs. Van Daan, sympathetic with Peter (Mrs. Van Daan’s quiet son), exasperated with herself, etc. Anne often feels a mix of anger and affection for a person, hence her nickname (invented by her father): “little bundle of contradictions” (235). I often feel so myself—in reading this book, I have stumbled upon my own private therapist!
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is a truly penetrating story. On August 4, 1944, three days after the last excerpt, the inhabitants of the Secret Annexe were arrested. Sometime in March, 1945, at only fifteen years, Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from typhoid. Her story lives on, however, in a small, battered book . . .
You can buy this book here.