Staff Review – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

I've learned a lot about the world wars over the years, from schooling to my brother, who holds a Masters in History. All this time, I've heard a great deal about Anne Frank, but never took the time to sit down and read her diary. I decided it was finally that time, and I'm very glad I did. As you may know, Anne Frank's diary was found in the attic, or "Secret Annexe" as she referred to it, where she spend the last few years of her life. Belonging to a Jewish family living in Amsterdam, the Franks found refuge in the attic in 1942 as Nazi powers took over Holland and she and her family were forced into hiding. There, they survived on a heavily rationed diet along with another family, waiting for the day they could return home, which sadly never came.

One thing I learned right away was that Otto Frank, Anne's father, was the only surviving member of the Secret Annexe. When Anne's dairy was later found, he shared it with those who knew her, to keep her memory and spirit alive. Otto was urged to publish the diary, and now, the diary has gone on to be published in more than 70 languages around the world. It was fascinating reading Anne's diary - at times I had to remind myself that this wasn't a fictional work "inspired by a true story". Though intending for no one to read it, Anne's diary is full of wit, honesty and wisdom beyond her years. She dreamt of becoming a writer, and her dream has now come true.

Reading Anne's diary and learning about what her and her family had to endure was heartbreaking. While Anne never wrote her sorrows in a way that begged for sympathy, she would discuss their situation in such matter-of-fact terms that somehow made her situation even sadder. Forced to accept the life they are dealt, her attic-mates had no choice but to endure and fight for another day, hoping against hope that a life outside the attic would come again. Sadly, Anne and all of the attic members were discovered in August 1944, and Anne died in Bergen-Belsen when she was 15. While enough of the world didn't get to meet Anne in person, millions have since met her through her diary. If you're looking for something poignant, real and inspiring, pick up The Diary of A Young Girl today!