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The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive…

The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition (edition 1997)

by Anne Frank (Author), Otto M. Frank (Editor), Mirjam Pressler (Editor), Susan Massotty (Translator)

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Compelling and candid, this diary introduced the world to a girl filled with the emotional concerns of a typical teenager, but living in stifling and terrifying circumstances.
Title:The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition
Authors:Anne Frank (Author)
Other authors:Otto M. Frank (Editor), Mirjam Pressler (Editor), Susan Massotty (Translator)
Info:Bantam (1997), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition by Anne Frank


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This review is to mark my reaction to the book at this moment in time. It is by no means definitive. Like many other American kids, I read this as a school assignment at a young age. Plenty of adaptations, seemingly, were assigned of it over the years, too. In eighth grade, we read and positively analyzed a play adaptation. It portrayed Anne and her family as really religious. They weren't, in the way the play portrayed them. I remember being annoyed and unsettled by the artistic liberties taken. Years later, I watched a much more faithful and realistic to the source dramatic miniseries made out of her diary. I had watched part of it on TV when it first came out, but had nightmares from the trailers alone. It was uploaded to Youtube years later and that's when I watched it in its entirety. Everything about it was terrific, and my jaw dropped when I saw Hannah Taylor Gordon. After I finished the series, I just...sat there for half an hour. Just sat. Couldn't tell you my feelings. These adaptations, whether close to the source or not too much, are keeping her story and memory still alive. I'm grateful for that. The book is still in print, is assigned reading in schools, and hopefully it stays that way.

This--it--there's--see, me being flustered is why I didn't try to review it until now. I was surprised at how many things were around in 1942 that I thought were contemporary and specific to America alone: grading systems using letters and integers (A-, B+), Montessori schools, Zionism...Zionism did not mean the same thing in 1942 as the sociopolitical war zone it is today. I thought it came about in the 50s. I know a former Montessori school teacher who switched to an Orthodox Jewish school and cheerfully noted she didn't need a transition. That surprised me, as I think of the two as so different. She switched careers entirely, but was still worried about, "Was I a good teacher?" I answered her questions about Judaism as best I could, and explained I wasn't Orthodox. I reassured her that you don't have to be Jewish, just willing to teach the kids, and how much it mattered that she still wondered if she'd taught well.

I'd mixed up my historical timelines in the years since reading this: I thought this took place in 1940 somehow, and by 1942, it was...over. No. I thought, I thought, and reading this again helped refresh my knowledge. Restrictions for so many things had already been in place, but more were to come. Concentration camps were commonplace, and were continuing. People were already being taken away. And yet, many were trying to live normally.

It is noted in the introduction to the diary that Anne's father omitted several passages that portrayed family members in an unflattering manner. She was a young teenager. It's normal. And he did the same with some passages that mentioned sexuality, which is understood now to mean "anything except heterosexuality," as Anne discussed boys freely in the diary. In the miniseries with Hannah Taylor Gordon, there's a scene with the sexuality Anne's father wasn't comfortable with: Anne asks her friend a few questions at a sleepover. That's it. I've always hand-waved the omissions as a father uncomfortable with his teenage daughter becoming a woman. There was a disgusting moment in 2019 where some of the queer community on Twitter decided Anne Frank would be a shining example to prove that children and teens aren't always heterosexual. These people were shocked and shrieked in outrage when queer Jews, myself included, confronted them in fury. Did you sit down and ask yourselves -why- you decided to use a DEAD JEWISH TEENAGER to try and prove a point to people who have shown they will not listen to you? You terrible people! There are so many other ways Anne Frank has been oversimplified and used in stupid ways to prove different points in history, and I want people to stop.

I can't imagine how scary it must have been to have to decide to, and subsequently go, into hiding. How boring and claustrophobic the attic must have been! And to have no other choice, and to be with people you knew of varying degrees, some of whom treated you with respect, and others who didn't. Who told the Gestapo about them? Why? I've always been curious and also dreaded finding out. Neither can I imagine or assign a proper vocabulary to the dread of knowing what awaited them at the camps. Or being transferred to different ones. Anne died two weeks before the camps were liberated. The misery and sadness has always stuck with me. The fact that the US turned away a shipful of people who were trying to escape, who were later to sent to camps as a result of the USA's callousness, has remained with me as well. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 28, 2022 |
This book captures the attention of some many readers , allowing you enter in a world where things are negatively changing and tomorrow is not promise . The Dairy of A Young Girl : The Definitive Edition takes place in Frankfurt Germany where a jewish girl named Anne Frank is hiding along with her family from Nazis , who plan to captive all jewish people to place them in concentration camp. The book will connect well when focusing on World War too and some of the most tragic one events to ever take place. ( )
  Haley.c143 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Reading The Diary of a Young Girl after so many years was a marvel. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Aug 13, 2020 |
Review: The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. What a delightful refreshing read. Although a sad story but beautifully written. I got a different perspective reading this again after so many years. I remember enjoying it then but I’ll admit it was worth the read now that I’m somewhat older….The story of a Jewish family and friends living in a hidden annex in Germany for two years was so brave. It’s hard to believe they managed to hide for that amount of time. Just being cramped in a space with eight people for two years can be like living with a splinter under ones fingernail. I like having my own space so I think I would have cracked under the pressure of the people who I was hiding with and the war all around me. They were people trying to survive the terrors of the Hitler and his armies. Keeping a diary as young Anne Frank did during the time in the secret annex was the only thing that she felt safe about. Her diary acted as the friend listener she was craving so much. Kitty was their for her when no one understood what she was feeling. Kitty was her friend for Anne’s short life and Kitty was the one who told
Anne Frank’s story to the world…..What an amazing story.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
This isn't something I feel I can rate. It's such a private thing, such a mundane thing, & yet such a tragic thing. It's a surreal experience, reading the diary of a girl forced into extraordinary circumstances, knowing what her ultimate fate was. You know, for example, that the big invasion they're hoping for & expecting any day will happen... & so you know that it has no effect on their lives. You can sympathize that life in hiding during wartime is trying, & terrible, & unbearable... but you also know how much worse it will get for all of them before their journey is over.

I think the most poignant part is the relationship between Anne & her mother. Things are hard for teenaged girls & their mothers in the best of circumstances. Under these conditions, a strained relationship is only going to get worse. Knowing that this mother & daughter never got the chance to grow together, to get to know each other better & differently, is heart-rending. Knowing that that scenario played out over millions of other lives for the same reason makes me gasp in horror.

This is a hard read. It's easy to want to tune Anne out - she's often an annoying teenaged girl. But she's also an excellent diarist, giving the reader a complete & compelling picture of the daily operations of her situation. And just when you want to put this away, thinking you've gotten what you wanted from it, something brings you back into the immediacy of the danger they were living with. Right down to the abrupt end of her diary, you get a complete look at Anne, her family & co-inhabitants, their courageous helpers, & life in Holland during WWII.
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
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Compelling and candid, this diary introduced the world to a girl filled with the emotional concerns of a typical teenager, but living in stifling and terrifying circumstances.

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