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The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window

by Jeff Gottesfeld

Other authors: Peter McCarty (Illustrator)

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13215204,584 (4.52)1
"The story of the tree outside of Anne Frank's window"--
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A unique perspective on Anne Frank’s story, this book tells Anne’s story from the point of view of the tree outside her window. Afterword.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
As the author recounts in an Afterword, during World War II, Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis in the rear annex of her father’s factory in Amsterdam. The Nazis were intent on deporting and killing all the Jews they could find. Ann and her family were kept alive by several of her father’s factory workers. But the Nazis finally found them on August 4, 1944, and Anne died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March, 1945, three weeks before that camp was liberated by the forces fighting the Nazis.

A woman who was helping the Frank family, Miep Gies, went into the annex after the Nazis came and collected Anne’s notebooks and diary. When the war ended, Anne’s father Otto was the only survivor from the annex, and Gies returned the diary to him. He arranged for it to be published, and it was translated into seventy languages.

Incidents reported in the diary appear in this book, told from the point of view of the huge horse chestnut tree which Anne could see from the attic window.

The tree collapsed and died in 2010, the year Anne Frank would have turned eight-one had she lived. Saplings from it were planted all over the world. The author writes:

“Just like the girl, she passed into history.
Just like the girl, she lives on.”

Brown ink drawings on a white background by Peter McCarty help convey the solemn tone of the story.

The text of the book itself doesn’t give any specifics about the Holocaust, or what happened to its victims, or how many died.

In spite of its lack of details and focus on the tree, this book has won a number of awards, including New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book 2016, New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, 2016, and Sidney Taylor Award notable title, 2017. I would argue that readers could use a bit more clarification. ( )
  nbmars | Jan 24, 2021 |
This was a beautiful book. It told Anne Frank's story from the Chestnut Tree's perspective, and I loved the part about how the seeds from the tree have been planted all over the world in remembrance. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
In this book you learn about Anne Frank and the war that was going on between the Nazis and the Jews. The book revolves around Anne Frank and the tree that was outside the attic window. The book taught me that the tree outside the attics window died, but the saplings from the tree have been placed at specific places as a symbol for “freedom and tolerance”.

This book can pair with the curriculum when you discuss the holocaust with the students. This book can also pair with when you discuss war in general and how war affects people. You can discuss with a class how war can change the way people act towards others. ( )
  A.Bode | Apr 17, 2019 |
Very chilling and haunting recount out of the Annex that housed the Frank family during World War two. The picture were even painted in darker and neutral colors to convey that mood. The perspective of the immobile tree in those contemporary historical leaves the reader to contemplate the steadiness of the tree in comparison to the movement of time and change. ( )
  india_paige | Aug 30, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff Gottesfeldprimary authorall editionscalculated
McCarty, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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