Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

500095The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank
(memoir/diary)

I am going to be including quotes from the diary in my review, because some of the lines Anne wrote really hit home.

“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people.”
~ Anne Frank

This was a hard book to read. It started out light and easy, as you’d expect from a 13-year-old’s diary. As the situation gets harder, so do the topics in the diary, though it’s not until the end when it gets really hard to read. This is history; the ending is not a surprise. What did surprise me was how much I dreaded reading the final 50 or so pages of the book, because the war starts going well and hopes in the Secret Annex start rising… and yet I know how the story ends for them.

“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?”
~ Anne Frank

I do not know why I didn’t read this in school. In some ways, I wish I had because it is an important book and I would have liked to have read it when I was closer to Anne’s age. On the other hand, I’m glad I didn’t read it until I was an adult and could better connect with the entire situation, and not just Anne’s.

There is no need for me to write a synopsis of this book. It is a diary of the youngest daughter of a Jewish family in hiding during World War II. If you need a synopsis for the book, then you REALLY need to read it, because that is a period in history that everyone should be aware of. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

“I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed, while somewhere out there my dearest friends are dropping from exhaustion or being knocked to the ground.

“I get frightened myself when I think of close friends who are now at the mercy of the cruelest monsters ever to stalk the earth.

“And all because they’re Jews.”
~ Anne Frank

The afterword in the version I read was eye-opening, though is now out-dated. Miep Gies, the last surviving person written about in the diary, passed away in 2010 at the age of 100. She was the one who saved the scattered diary after the Franks were arrested, so she was an important part of how this book came to be published.

Anne mentions in her diary that she wanted to be a journalist, and later a “famous writer”. Well. I don’t think it happened the way she had in mind, but she is certainly a famous writer. And reading her writing style at age 13-15, I can only imagine what wonderful stories she would have written if she’d survived the war.

“That’s something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs every day by their good spirits and affection.”
~ Anne Frank

This is an important book, and one everyone needs to read. It’s heartbreaking and uplifting all at once, and its themes are as relevant now as they were when it was written.

Rating: 5 stars

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