That’s my 7th grade diary given to me in 1964 by my grandmother along with a copy of Anne Frank’s diary right before we left for a year in Germany. When we visited the recently-opened Anne Frank House a few months later I realized that my diary was just like Anne’s. Presumably my grandmother bought it in Frankfurt (before she and my father fled in 1936) and then gave it to me years later. I was almost twelve when I first read Anne’s diary ; it had a profound impression on me and so I’ve been always interested in related books. As survivors die off (say my father two years ago), we grapple with how best to honor Anne and all who suffered because of the Holocaust. I’m particularly interested in those about Anne, say:
- Francine Prose’s excellent Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. (This book is for adults, but is simply superb. Prose shows what a literary gem the diary is.)
- The Anne Frank House’s engrossing Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures. (Love this one. Does a fantastic job of putting the story into context with primary sources.)
- Sharon Dogar’s forthcoming fictional imagining of Peter van Pels’ diary, Annexed. (Still processing my feelings about this one.)
And the latest, a graphic novel version of the diary coming from the Anne Frank House. Having read their two previous graphic novels, The Search and A Family Secret, I’m a bit dubious. I requested them from their American publisher (thank you, Macmillan) after reading about them, but I found the writing unfortunately mediocre and so I’m extremely wary of this forthcoming graphic novel of the diary. They (just as does Sharon Dogar) are looking for hooks to bring young people to the diary itself. Very laudable, but I guess I’m still for giving them the real thing.