Anne Frank and Meby Cherie Bennett, Jeff Gottesfeld
In one moment Nicole Burns's life changes forever. The sound of gunfire at an Anne Frank exhibit, the panic, the crowd, and Nicole is no longer Nicole. Whiplashed through time and space, she wakes to find herself a privileged Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. No more Internet diaries and boy troubles for Nicole-now she's a carefree Jewish… See more details below
In one moment Nicole Burns's life changes forever. The sound of gunfire at an Anne Frank exhibit, the panic, the crowd, and Nicole is no longer Nicole. Whiplashed through time and space, she wakes to find herself a privileged Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. No more Internet diaries and boy troubles for Nicole-now she's a carefree Jewish girl, with wonderful friends and a charming boyfriend. But when the Nazi death grip tightens over France, Nicole is forced into hiding, and begins a struggle for survival that brings her face to face with Anne Frank.
"This is a powerful and affecting story." (KLIATT)
- Penguin Young Readers Group
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- 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
Nicole Burns sat in the fourth row, third seat of Renee B. Zooms' English class, watching the door and at the same time pretending not to. An elderly woman entered, looking around uncertainly. Zooms greeted her warmly. Nicole's eyes slid back to the door. She was on alert for one thing. Him. J. Jack.
Her best friend, Mimi, flew in; loose-limbed skinny legs sliding into the seat across from her. Mimi had recently gone retro hippie; ratty bell-bottoms, Cosmic Karma T, love beads. She leaned close, and patchouli scent wafted everywhere. "So, Nico. I checked out Girl X last night."
"I know, I saw a hit on my counter. My public confessional now has an audience of one. Remind me why I'm doing this again."
"You have a desperate need for attention?" Mimi ventured.
"True. Maybe you have a deeply disturbed need to bare the details of your secret, steamy existence to utter strangers."
Nicole dead-eyed her. "My life, as you know, is steam-free."
"Also true." Mimi shrugged. "So do what everyone else does. Lie."
"Meem, the whole point is to tell the truth, even if"
Nicole's voice dropped off; her internal organs rearranged themselves. J had just walked in. Her eyes followed as he went to talk with his supposedly former girlfriend, Heather the Perfect.
Mimi peered at Nicole. "Amazing. I can actually see your IQ slump."
Nicole watched closely as Heather laughed and putonehand on Jack's right bicep. Then the bell rang shrilly; Jack and Heather took their seats.
"Settle down, people," Zooms said, the closing door underscoring her sentence. "One of the first assignments for your biennial Holocaust studies unit was to watch the adaptation of Jane Yolen's novel The Devil's Arithmetic on TV last night. Hands of those who did?"
A few hands hit the air: Mimi; the new girl, Suzanne Lee; a geek girl in the back row. Jack. David Berg. Not Nicole. She'd spent last night working on Girl X.
Pursuing invisibility, Nicole slunk down in her seat as her teacher smiled thinly. "Delightful. Five out of thirty-one. I could weep. Somehow the words pop quiz spring to mind. However, this is your lucky day. Instead of a pop quiz, we have a guest speaker. Feel free to thank her for your reprieve. It is an honor to introduce Mrs. Paulette Litzger-Gold."
The old woman that Nicole had seen enter the classroom stood to a smattering of grateful applause. "I thank Ms. Zooms for inviting me," she began, her voice slightly accented. "Why am I here to speak with you? Because I lived through the Holocaust. So, about me. I grew up in the most wonderful, sophisticated place in the world, Paris, France. What you do for fun nowgo to movies, go shopping, listen to the latest musicis what my friends and I did then. In 1940, when I was your age, if someone had told me what was about to happen to me, I would not have believed it. But just five years later, I was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp more dead than alive."
The woman stopped for a sip of water and Nicole's eyes slid to Jack. From her seat behind him, Heather dropped a folded paper onto his desk. He read it, then turned around to grin at her. She smiled back. It was not the smile of a girl who was an ex-anything.
Mrs. Litzger-Gold went on with her story, about race laws and ration cards and resistance movements. Nicole was present in body only. Her mind was busy dealing with the Jack-Heather thing. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Zooms staring daggers at her. She slapped a perky I'm-so-interested mask on her face.
"If you find the things I am telling you unimaginable, I understand," Mrs. Litzger-Gold was saying. "They seem unimaginable to me, too, even though I was there. Certain moments are burned into my memory. Such as the time French police knocked on the doors of Jewish homes in the dead of night. Many thousands were rounded up and taken to the Vélodrome d'Hiver, a sports arena that would become a temporary prison. There was no food nor water nor sanitary facilities. Some killed themselves because the world had turned into a place in which they no longer wanted to live. I remember Drancy, the detainment camp outside of Paris where so many were held and then deported. And I have not yet begun to tell you about the horror of the concentration camps, the SS, and the crematoria. I also remember the goodan apple given by a stranger, the underground press, some defiant words on a scrap of paper that gave me strength to go on."
Chrissy Gullet's hand sprang into the air.
"Miss Gullet, what burning question forces you to interrupt our speaker?" Zooms asked, her tone withering.
"I don't mind at all," the old woman insisted. "There are no bad questions, only bad answers. Please, young lady, go ahead."
Chrissy shook her hair off her face with a practiced gesture. "Okay, in fifth grade we read Number the Stars. We already know about the Holocaust. I'm very sorry that you had to go through it, but I don't understand why we have to talk about it again. I mean, we don't have Irish Famine Awareness Week, or How We Stole from the Native Americans Awareness Week, do we?"
From the next row, dark-eyed David Berg, smart, serious, intense, glared at her. "You are monumentally ignorant."
"Excuse me, David, but this is America, okay? Which means I'm entitled to have a different opinion from you."
"And I'm entitled to tell you what an idiot you are."
"Leave out the name-calling, Mr. Berg," Zooms warned. "Mrs. Litzger-Gold, would you like to continue?"
The old woman answered with a gesture that clearly invited the discussion to go on.
"Thank you," Chrissy told her. "Okay, David, no offense, but you're not really objective about this."
"Why, because I'm Jewish?"
Mimi turned to Chrissy. "Try to keep up. The Holocaust was international genocide."
"Yuh, I got it," Chrissy singsonged. "But it's not like it could ever happen here."
Zooms scanned their faces. "Could it? Today, in America, could it happen?"
"Yes," David answered. "Of course it could happen here."
Eddie Valley snorted out a laugh. "My man, Mr. Paranoid."
"I think it could happen here, too," Suzanne said mildly. Nicole smiled at her. Suzanne was pretty, nice, and had perfect strawberry blond hair. Three weeks before, Nicole had invited her to join her hip-hop trio.
"Please." Chrissy punctuated this with an eye roll. "All I'm saying is, this is America in the twenty-first century, not Europe a zillion years ago. No offense, ma'am, but the Holocaust is totally irrelevant ancient history."
Mrs. Litzger-Gold looked bemused. "Perhaps you are right about the history part, though I don't think of myself as ancient. But irrelevant? I cannot agree with you there."
Zooms swept her arms over the room. "Other opinions? People?" The usual suspects joined the debate. Jack was so impressive when he spokefair to both sides. He was just so everything. How could one guy be so
Instant face flush, heart hurtling toward heaven. Zooms stared at Nicole. "Uh ... sorry?"
"Eloquent as always, Miss Burns. I'll come back to you when you've gathered your thoughts." Zooms' laser-beam gaze fell on a guy in the back row. "Mr. Hayden?"
Nicole went limp with relief as all eyes went to Richard Hayden, a much bigger fish for Zooms to eviscerate. Eddie Valley had nicknamed him Dr. Doom for his habitual outfit: oversized army jacket, black shirt, and black pants. Dr. Doom got shortened to Doom, which is what everyone called him now.
"Your opinion, Mr. Hayden?" Zooms pressed, as Doom slumped in his seat, staring out the window. Weeks ago, he had announced that he'd no longer be taking part in classroom discussions. Zooms hadn't called on him since. Until now.
"Mr. Hayden, I asked you a question."
"In the absence of a coherent response, might I assume that flunking my class is appealing to you?"
Doom remained mute, unreadable under Zooms' gaze. She refused to give in. Long seconds ticked by. Then, still staring out the window, Doom spoke. "My grade should be based on my test scores and the quality of my papers. Class participation is inane and entirely subjective."
Zooms stepped between Doom and the window. He neither looked at her nor looked away. "Did you listen at all to what our guest speaker said, Mr. Hayden? Would you agree that some things are worth speaking up for? Or against?"
"I realize you are doing this to irritate me," she continued. "Congratulations on your success. Now, are we to assume that your silence means you agree with Adolf Hitler, that the world should be JudenreinJew-free?"
Slowly, Doom turned his head to look directly at Mrs. Litzger-Gold. Nicole shivered.
Zooms strode to the front of the room. "Hopefully, the rest of you can overcome your adolescent self-absorption long enough to recognize the importance of speaking out in the face of tyranny. And the paper you'll be writing on that subjectthanks to your colleague Mr. Haydenwill reflect that. A thousand words. Due next Thursday."
"Thanks, Doom," Eddie muttered. Someone else hissed "Freak" in Doom's direction.
Zooms checked her watch. "Unfortunately, the bell is about to ring. Now, I'm sure you'd like to thank Mrs. Litzger-Gold for speaking with us today." She led the class in applause, until the bell rang and kids flew from their seats as if shot from a catapult.
"Remember, people," Zooms called. "We meet in front of the school tomorrow morning at eight o'clock sharp for our field trip to the Anne Frank in the World exhibit. On Monday we'll discuss her diary and the exhibit. I suggest you anticipate a pop quiz."
A few kids stayed behind to talk with Mrs. Litzger-Gold. Nicole hung back because Jack had gone to ask the old woman a question. Then it hit her: This was her chance. All she had to do was to go up there and pretend she had a question, too. Jack would notice. He'd be impressed with her sensitivity. For the first time, he would really see her.
She headed for the front of the room, trying to come up with a question for the speaker. What happened to your family? That might be good. At that moment, Mrs. Litzger-Gold finished answering Jack and looked directly at Nicole. The weirdest feeling came over Nicole, as if she was somehow connected to this woman.
"Thank you again, ma'am," Jack said, as he walked away. For once, Nicole's eyes didn't follow him. They were still locked on the old woman's face.
"Have we ... met before?" Nicole ventured.
"Ironic question, Miss Burns," Zooms called. She was closing the classroom windows. "Considering that you weren't listening when Mrs. Litzger-Gold was speaking."
Nicole's face burned. "I was listening." Her eyes went back to Mrs. Litzger-Gold. For some reason, Nicole didn't want to lie to her. "To tell you the truth," she said, her voice low, "I really wasn't listening to you much."
The old woman smiled. "To tell you the truth, I already knew that. I also know you stayed behind to talk to that handsome boy and not to me."
"You're right. I'm sorry."
Mrs. Litzger-Gold cocked her head to the side, still contemplating Nicole. "Do you believe in signs?"
Nicole was confused. "What, like astrology?"
"More like things unspoken, things the heart knows."
"I don't know."
"What is your name?"
"A lovely name." She began to gather her things from Zooms' desk. "Perhaps we'll have a chance to speak again sometime, Nicole. I would like that." With a smile on her lips, Mrs. Litzger-Gold's eyes met Nicole's one last time. Then she walked out the classroom door.
NOTES FROM GIRL X
CAUTION!!! WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!
Day 4, 4:53 p.m.
Frightening Thought du Jour: I've never once seen my parents really kiss. What if the feeling of wanting someone so badly that you ache with wanting them always dies? What if all you get in its place is the married-and-live-happily-ever-after lie, which really means mortgages and dental bills and PTA meetings and nothing exciting for the rest of your entire life?
The Truth Hurts, So? H the Perfect can get J back because looks are power. Anyone who says that isn't true is lying. This is just the way it is.
The Truth Hurts, So? Part Two: The thoughts in my head are more interesting than the words on my lips. In school, with my family, every time I open my mouth, someone else speaks. Someone dull and ordinary. The only time I can transcend that is when I dance. Then I don't think. I just feel. I am the wind.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love this book so much!!! i finished it in like a day or two. Couldn't put it down! I totally recommend it to everyone! I can't wait to start it for the second time. It's the kind of book that you can read over and over again. No matter how many times you read it, it always gets better and better!!!
This book is so amazing I can not even begin to describe it. I got this book in a hurry thinking it looked okay, but when I started reading it I was hooked on it I couldn't stop reading it. This book is so great and so sad at the same time. I reccomend a box of tissues when reading this book.
I never read much as a student but now as a mother of very intellaget children I want to experiance school throught them. So this past month I read The diary of Anne Frank and fell in love with her. Whick bring me to my review of this book. If you read The diary of A.F and was left wanting more like myself. This is a good choice. Its not a five star/ must read on my list but it does serve its perpose. Which is to informe/intertain. We will never forget!
This is a good book, i first got it as a sample and read it now it is my official book! You have to read this book
This book is sooooo good!!
Wow. What else can I say? This was fantastic. Nicole Burns who is the main character falls back in time and ends up in Nazi Paris, France. She has the good life now until the Nazis start taking over! Can she find a way back? Not without Anne Frank!
Kudos to Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld for writing such an outstanding and realistic Holocaust story! I could really relate to Nicole and her friends, and this book made me more interested in the Holocaust. I felt like I was there with Nicole. Everyone should read this at least once in his or her life. Excellent read!
I read 'Anne Frank and Me' after reading a lot of other novels about teens in the Holocaust, and this was by far my favorite. I thought it really covered historical and present-day values that everyone could learn from. As a future writer and actress, I also loved the fact that it was based on a play! I cried at the end!
Anne Frank and Me, is a wonderful book it was so sad, It's one of the few books i cry about. The author really makes it feel like your their with Nichol and you really can feel what she's feeling
I could not put this book down. Anne Frank and Me is undoubtedly one of the most powerful novels of historical fiction for teens. This book is both inspiring and heartbreaking, and readers will immediately relate to Nicole as both an apathetic American teenager and as a persecuted French Jew. Her angst is genuine in both sides of her character. Bennett can capture the voice of a teenage girl like no other contemporary author can. Anne Frank and Me sparkles. I now have a new favorite book.
I am in seventh grade and have recently Finished reading 'Anne Frank'(A good read, but somewhat 'blurry'). The day after reading it, I went to my Local Library to find another book that would sustain my imagination for a while. Instead I found a book that would somehow, simutaniously, give me the information I was looking for and create a hunger for more. I am very interested in the Holocaust, so when I saw 'Anne Frank and me', I grabbed it out of pure intrest. I was immediatly drawn in by the characters(my faviorte being David)and compleatly engulfed by the plot. What made it better was that, although fictional, the story was based on facts. I can seriously say that I understand more about the Holocaust now than when I fineshed 'Anne Frank'. I cherished it from the first page to the very last sentance,which made me cry. I fineshed it the very next day. When I was reading 'Anne Frank' I kept thinking 'Its a shame she never got to make her dreams come true,' but this book showed me she DID succede. She both fullfiled her dreams and triumphed over the Nazis. Like the book so rightly states, she became a writer and broke a million hearts.
This book is for people who enjoyed Anne Frank's Diary and like historic fiction. great book, a must read!
I read Anne Frank and Me in less than one day; I could never put it down. This book brings you into the world of a young Jewish girl and a normal American teenager from the twentieth century. Everyone will love this book, it makes it seem like you are there with Nicole until the very end.
This is probably the best book I've read in a long time. The dialouge and the descriptions, the plotline, just everything is the mark of some real skill behind this book. It was obviously heavily researched, and creative thinking had to be used as well. It didn't try to give us the impression that they didn't care about other things anymore now that they were fearing for their lives; they still cared, but it wasn't as important. My point is that it was realistic, and I felt like I could really relate to Nicole. 5 stars.
This is an amazing story that made my heart stop when it ended. The only book that could even measure to this is Anne Frank's own diary. WHen readers discover the horrible things about World War II That are expressed in this book, their life's will change for an eternity
I have read the book, Anne Frank and Me. It was a wonderful book to read. It was very sad, scary, and exciting at the same time. Before you read this book, I would suggest that you read Anne Frank's diary before you read this book because it has a few parts from the diary in the book. If you like books about World War II, this is the book to read!
I loved this book. It is one of the best books about Anne Frank I ever read.
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I really loved this book x girl ( nicole) is such a great girl in the story and me loving romance i knew this book was for me i recomend this book!! :)
Sounds like an amazing book! Now someone plz lend tjitome to answer just type Beyonce thanx!!!!
This book was magnificent! It was very ingenious of the authors who published this book to fuse or integrate what many teens similar to nicole often are interested in and endure with their families to what occured during the mid 1940's like anne frank. It was really wonderful to know that nicole grew into a more enhanced person after all that she expierenced and most importantly- learned.
I had to read it for a book report, and in the start i really didnt want to read the book but by the end i was in love with it. No one could get me to stop reading it, the book was easy to read and fallow. Even if you dont like to read this is a good pick. Im a 13 year old girl and hate to read but loved this book. Its a most read.
This was an amazing book. It took me two days to read. The plot was amazing. You can easily picture all of the people in the story. It is also fairly easy to become emotionaly attached to the charactors. The scene is fabulously written. This book is great for ages eleven to eighteen.
This book is fantastic. I first read Anne Frank's diary four years ago and have loved it ever since. The beginning of this book was sort of difficult to understand but the end is making me SOB! But all in all, this is an amazing book.