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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl (original 1947; edition 1993)

by Anne Frank

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
26,83349295 (4.08)384
Journal of a Jewish teenager describes the joys and torments of daily life and typical adolescent thoughts throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.
Title:The Diary of a Young Girl
Authors:Anne Frank
Info:Bantam, Mass Market Paperback, 283 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1947)

  1. 141
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (kidzlitsmc, mihmb, alalba, PghDragonMan, l_rigsby)
    kidzlitsmc: this story of a German hiding a Jew and not a Jew being hidden helps you to understand that it wasn't just hard for Jews.
    PghDragonMan: Both side of hiding during the Holocaust
  2. 80
    Night by Elie Wiesel (jmarsico)
  3. 60
    Anne Frank House: A Museum with a Story by Anne Frank Stichting (JqnOC)
  4. 71
    We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries Of Teenagers Who Died In The Holocaust by Jacob Boas (MerryMary, gangleri)
    MerryMary: Puts Anne in perspective with four others of her generation in similar circumstances.
  5. 60
    A Hatred for Tulips by Richard Lourie (khuggard)
    khuggard: a fictional story about a young boy who reveals the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family.
  6. 50
    The Diary of Anne Frank: A Play in Two Acts by Frances Goodrich (Marie.Veliz)
  7. 50
    An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 by Etty Hillesum (christiguc)
  8. 40
    Mooie-zinnenboek by Anne Frank (guurtjesboekenkast)
  9. 51
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (JqnOC)
  10. 30
    The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak. Five Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto by Dawid Sierakowiak (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another diary kept by a Jewish teenager under Nazi occupation. Sierakowiak is remarkably intelligent and level-headed and he is starving.
  11. 30
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (amberwitch)
    amberwitch: Both told as diaries written by young women growing up 'under siege'.
  12. 20
    The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss (bookel)
  13. 20
    The Journal of Hélène Berr by Hélène Berr (guurtjesboekenkast)
    guurtjesboekenkast: Zowel Hélène Berr als Anne Frank zijn Joods en hebben een dagboek tijdens de oorlog geschreven. In 1945 zijn zij allebei aan tyfus overleden in het Duitse concentratiekamp Bergen-Belsen.
  14. 20
    Mist in augustus by Robert Domes (gangleri)
    gangleri: The right to live, the right to freedom are the most basic rights. « Nebel im August » (a book written in German) is about the live of Ernst Lossa whom was not granted this right either. The book is written in a very lyrical style, it illustrates that we have more in common then we are aware and reminds us what is really important.… (more)
  15. 20
    Victor Kugler: The Man Who Hid Anne Frank by Rick Kardonne (maryanntherese)
    maryanntherese: A biography of the man who orchestrated the Secret Annex.
  16. 10
    Grace in the Wilderness: After the Liberation 1945-1948 by Aranka Siegal (juniperSun)
    juniperSun: Both deal with young Jewish teen girls in WWII, similar feelings.
  17. 10
    Charlotte Salomon. Leben? Oder Theater? by Edward van Voolen (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Zwei junge Frauen, die versuchen dem Grauen schreibend bzw. malend zu entkommen.
  18. 10
    In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke (meggyweg)
  19. 10
    East West Street by Philippe Sands (shaunie)
  20. 10
    Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex by Anne Frank (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Fiction written by Anne Frank while in hiding.

(see all 31 recommendations)

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» See also 384 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 438 (next | show all)
It's very difficult to review a diary, much less one that was never written with the intention of publication, and even much less one that was written under such horrifying circumstances.

I am writing this review in January of 2023; nearly all of us can recall quarantining and sheltering in place during the COVID pandemic, but none of that even compares to what the Frank and van Pels families and Fritz Pfeffer had to endure, having essentially erased themselves from the map and cut themselves off from the outside world (except through the mediums of Otto Frank's business partners), given that the totalitarian Nazi government has deemed them Untermenschen unworthy of existence and wouldn't blink twice as to brutalize and murder them (as would happen to virtually everyone hiding in the Secret Annexe). My point being, reading this text will put in perspective how meager some of our trials and tribulations are compared to how low the world was descending not even one hundred years ago.

The diary, a gift, starts days after her 13th birthday. The diary abruptly ends a few months after she turns 15. You don't have to know the whole story to know what happened.

Much of the diary was written as Anne and her family are in hiding. Her diary consists of reminiscences regarding daily life, reflections on her prior life, and occasional philosophical deliberation. Anne is remarkably insightful for her age. She's no Hugo Grotius, but she is very observant of social dynamics and a very apt student, especially in regards to history and literature. Furthermore, she is an excellent writer for her age and only becomes better. One of the beautiful things about this text is, by virtue of being a diary, we can see Anne grow in real time. The reader truly sees Anne go from a girl to a woman as she reflects on her relationship with her parents and Peter, her growing independence, her aspirations to become a journalist or writer, etc.

Perhaps I will pause for a second and, on the subject of Anne becoming a woman, briefly discuss a controversy: the menstruation passages. Some have accused the book of being pornographic, for Anne occasionally discusses having a period and her one-time desire to touch a female friend's breasts. As to how anyone could find these scenes pornographic is beyond me; Anne is merely reflecting upon the pubescent changes of the body. She does not discuss any of her sexual desires (not that that would even be pornographic per se), and the town is far, far more of wonderment than lust. If anyone decries this book pornographic, they are also denouncing all of humanity that has ever become sexually aware as filthy with it.

But to continue.

Some of the saddest parts of the diary for me are when Anne reflects upon what she will do after the Netherlands are liberated and she can resume her prewar life. We all know what really happens.

A particularly painful theme to consider is the relationship between Anne and her mother. Anne and Mrs. Frank were constantly at odds, and Anne felt at times her mother did not care for her. Nothing could be farther than the truth. After Edith Frank was separated from her two daughters, she had a breakdown and refused to eat. She still had food in front of her, but she was saving it for her daughters, worried that they needed food. She would die of starvation.

If they both knew what was coming, I wonder how their last days in hiding would have been spent.

Perhaps a word on Kitty. I was not aware until reading Anne's diaries that most of them were written as letters to an unknown Kitty. Some have speculated that Kitty refers to a former classmate of Anne's, but really, I think Kitty is merely a fictional character from the outside. Anne needed a connection outside of the Secret Annexe, some link to the outer world.

Truly, Anne Frank's diaries are a message of hope. Hope and love for humanity, as embodied famously by one of the final lines of the book "In spite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart."

I am impressed at how Anne could retain such youthful optimism in spite of the world around her crumbling, the world which would eventually do her in. Now we can debate the merits of this hope. When I think about hope, especially in relation to the Holocaust, I think of the memoirs of Eliezer Gruenbaum (a Kapo at Auschwitz) and his observation that hope kills. It was hope that prevented the Jews from trying to escape the camps, as the guards frequently informed them the Allies would liberate the camp any day now, so there was no need to try anything foolish. It was hope in the form of bars of soap and towels that convinced imprisoned Jews that maybe the officers were leading them to showers, not gas chambers, after all, for why would the Nazis go to all of this trouble? Perhaps it was hope that kept the families hiding in the Secret Annexe for so long, as surely the Americans and Commonwealth soldiers would be marching into Holland before October...

I won't criticized her optimism; perhaps it was what most kept her going in the end, and it is truly an awful thing when a person becomes hardened and cynical so young. Her optimism and hope would have been better spent changing the world as a peacetime journalist or writer, but these traits were still powerful enough to make a dent as is.

Would Anne have wanted her diaries published? I believe the answer is an obvious yes. She reiterates a few times she would like to publish a story based on her experiences.

"You've known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We'll have to wait and see if these grand illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but up to now I've had no lack of topics. In any case, after the war I'd like to publish a book called The Secret Annexe. It remains to be seen whether I'll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis."

And she already wrote a story based on her experiences. Perhaps more autobiographical than she would have liked, but a heart-warming and ultimately tear-jerking story nonetheless. Certainly something she never would have expected.

"Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I've never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl."

I'm sure this passage has been quoted by many others, but this cruel irony is unsurpassed. If Anne realized how many millions of copies would be made of her diaries... ( )
  FTKatzenjammer | Jan 15, 2023 |
Varsha has written the best review about this testimony —because it is a testimony, not an ordinary book—. it puts in black and white my opinion about some reviews that give me shivers of dread in view of so much banality.

If a legacy like this is not reminded to generation upon generation, if it doesn't break and open the head of the majorities, we the humans will keep on inflicting to us same such horror day in and day out until committing suicide like species.

So this is not a rating given from the enjoyment level, how would there be enjoyment in something like this? It's more a vote than a rating, a vote given from my conscience and my heart. ( )
  Marlobo | Dec 24, 2022 |
Honestly had no words reading this book, it’s heartbreaking ( )
  gabbxoo | Dec 18, 2022 |
Good biography of a hidden Jewish girl and her family in Amsterdam. I read a couple more later in 2010 about her. The diary is not quite what I thought it was! ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Read this and you will change the way you see young people.
  Azmir_Fakir | Oct 31, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 438 (next | show all)
It is a truly remarkable book. Its revelation of the emotional turmoil and intellectual growth of an adolescent girl during extraordinarily difficult circumstances is psychologically fascinating. Its portrayal of ordinary people under frightful nervous strain and perpetual forced intimacy is wise and perceptive. Anne was precociously mature in her understanding of both herself and of others.
Anne Frank's diary is too tenderly intimate a book to be frozen with the label "classic," and yet no lesser designation serves... But her book is not a classic to be left on the library shelf. It is a warm and stirring confession, to be read over and over for insight and enjoyment.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Meyer Levin (pay site) (Jun 15, 1952)

» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, OttoEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Black, AllidaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clinton, BillForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Carlo, MargheritaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagerup, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagerup, IngerPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jameson, StormForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massotty, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooyaart-Doubleday, B. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsen, SteinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pressler, MirjamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Romein-Verschoor, AnnieForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roosevelt, EleanorIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schütz, AnnelieseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, GeorgePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vita, ArrigoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.
First words
Foreword: Anne Frank kept a diary from June 12, 1942, to August 1, 1944.
[ Comment Added by Anne on September 28, 1942:]
So far you truly have been a great source of comfort to me, and so has Kitty, whom I now write to regularly.
I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
There are several distinct versions of Anne Frank's Diary. Please be careful when combining and separating.

The Definitive Editions and the Revised Critical Editions should not be combined with each other or with this group of editions.
This edition of Anne's diary is not a definitive version. Please combine only with older editions.
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Journal of a Jewish teenager describes the joys and torments of daily life and typical adolescent thoughts throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

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Il "Diario" della ragazzina ebrea che a tredici anni racconta gli orrori del Nazismo torna in una nuova edizione integrale, curata da Otto Frank e Mirjam Pressler, e nella versione italiana da Frediano Sessi, con la traduzione di Laura Pignatti e la prefazione dell'edizione del 1964 di Natalia Ginzburg. Frediano Sessi ricostruisce in appendice gli ultimi mesi della vita di Anna e della sorella Margot, sulla base delle testimonianze e documenti raccolti in questi anni.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140264736, 0141315199, 0141336676


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