Grace Limoncelli: Grade 7
Yesterday, I finished reading Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank.
I chose the book for a multitude of reasons. The first, but not the defining one, is because it is on the reading list. Next is my strong interest in World War II, the Holocaust, and the early 1940s in general. The third reason is that I started the first chapter in January, and I had to stop the book for causes unknown to me. The second to last of these reasons relates to the second reason and has to do with my mother’s indignation of having found that I read Night, by Elli Wiesel, and Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay (which in case you do not know are books about the Holocaust), without reading the classic diary of Anne Frank.
The final reason, in all honesty, is that I had five seconds to grab a book before my father turned on the house alarm, and Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl just happened, without my immediate recognition, to be the one I grabbed.
My favorite character in the book is Anne, because not only is she the writer and the closest in age to me, but she is humorous even in the toughest of times. I admire how she judges herself just as strongly as she judges others and how she grows into a multi-layered, strong, and powerful young person. I wish to become a writer and make a difference in the world just as she did. There are no words to describe how wonderful a person she must have been, except to say the book made me cry inside and out. Also, I cannot forget to mention how much I admire the people, including Miep and Elli, who helped to hide and protect the Franks, the VanDaans, and Mr. Dussel while they were in hiding. It must have taken a great deal of courage to risk their lives to keep them safe. My least favorite character was her mother, because she was a bad role model by rudely making fun of Anne and not playing an admirable, motherly, or reliable role. Also I found it shocking that although she probably knew she was not being a supportive mother who acted like she loved her children equally, she was very defensive when her daughter began to push her away and become independent.
I would recommend this book to any girl in middle or high school who feels alone or uncomfortable with herself in any way, because the book is truly life-changing and makes you feel comfortable about yourself and confident in yourself (trust me, it did that to me). I would also recommend the book to anyone who loves love stories or a good, hearty laugh. I would not recommend the book to a great percentage of the male gender, because a good part of it is a love story between Anne Frank and Peter VanDaan, that can get a little on the mushy side and there is a little girl talk. The diary is a great read for those who want to know what it felt like to be hiding from the Gestapo (Nazi secret police) during World War II in the Netherlands. In addition, reading this book is a great way to become more grateful for the life you live and the way you live it.
The climax occurs about the time that constant robberies happen around their “Secret Annexe” (hide-out), because later on it was discovered that one of the workmen at the nearby warehouses was not only the burglar, but the one who in the end disclosed the location of their hideaway to the Gestapo. They arrested the eight Jews for whom they had been searching for probably two years. After Peter, Mr. VanDaan, and Mr. Dussel began to become lazy with taking security measures, there was not truly a way probably to stop them from being discovered in the long run. The book also takes a turning point as Peter and Anne become close friends and eventually share their first kiss. Politically, the climax occurs as the long awaited invasion of France by the Allies happens.
Overall, there is no question whether I liked the book or not, because I LOVED it. Anne completely embodies everything a girl around her age feels. The book drove me into hysterics at some points and tears at others, even if it was not visible on my face. One of the greatest parts was that Anne interwove politics into her entries without putting them on center stage. Her personal affairs and the war status blended seamlessly together to create a narrative that taught not only history but also self confidence, gratefulness, how not to be judgmental, how to value others’ needs, and how to be comfortable with oneself. Anne was truly an artist. She has changed me from her work, and I can only hope that her work affects others in the same way.