Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

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Overview

Drawing on the unique historical sites, archives, expertise, and unquestioned authority of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the New York Times bestselling authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón have created the first authorized graphic biography of Anne Frank. Their account is complete, covering the lives of Anne's parents, Edith and Otto; Anne's first years in Frankfurt; the rise of Nazism; the Franks' immigration to Amsterdam; war and occupation; Anne's years in the Secret Annex; betrayal and arrest; her ...

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Overview

Drawing on the unique historical sites, archives, expertise, and unquestioned authority of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the New York Times bestselling authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón have created the first authorized graphic biography of Anne Frank. Their account is complete, covering the lives of Anne's parents, Edith and Otto; Anne's first years in Frankfurt; the rise of Nazism; the Franks' immigration to Amsterdam; war and occupation; Anne's years in the Secret Annex; betrayal and arrest; her deportation and tragic death in Bergen-Belsen; the survival of Anne's father; and his recovery and publication of her astounding diary.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The team that created the bestselling The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation reunites to produce a stunning biography of Anne Frank, a book as historically rigorous as it is personally engaging. The story begins with the youths of Anne's parents, Otto and Edith, then traces the family's trajectory through WWI, into WWII, and finally beyond it to Otto's postwar activities and his death in 1980. Anne's childhood is portrayed against the background of the Depression and the rise of Nazism. The narration mixes historical background and informative "snapshots" of events like Germany's Nuremberg Laws of 1935, Kristallnacht, and the concentration camps, with details about the Franks and their household. Personality and life are added not just through Anne's oft-quoted diary but other contemporary memoirs and narratives--all listed in a bibliography--along with a chronology of world events and Anne's life. The combination of history, memoir, and richly detailed graphic representations creates a powerful whole, a beautiful and important graphic novel that will be enjoyed by adults and children alike. (Sept.)
USA Today Carol Memmott

The full-color graphic biography of Anne, whose Holocaust-era diary has been read by millions, goes beyond the time period she recounts… It brings to life the story of the Frank family, [and] is as visually and historically accurate as possible -- down to the clothing worn by the Franks, the military uniforms of the Nazis, the furniture and layout of the Franks' secret apartment, and Bergen-Belsen, the camp where Anne died in March 1945 at age 15.
Time Tristana Moore

Rather than sentimentalizing Anne's story, Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography sets out to provide a historical context and is packed with snippets of information about significant events, ranging from the economic crisis of 1929 to Hitler's rise to power, from the 1935 Nuremberg Laws -- which excluded Jews from German society -- to the Wannsee Conference in 1942, when the Nazis drew up plans to exterminate Europe's Jews.
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This graphic biography by the creators of The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (Hill and Wang, 2006) will introduce a new group of readers to the tragic and inspiring world of Anne Frank. Rather than focus solely on her famous diary, Jacobson and Colón trace Anne's history beginning with her parents' early lives, the family's frequent relocations, the move into the Secret Annex, and the final fates of Anne and the other "hiders." Along the way, they add in factual information to contextualize the events. The full-color artwork does a good job of conveying Anne's world, family, and friends. A list of the people appearing in the story would have been helpful, especially when considering that the Dutch and German names will be unfamiliar to most readers. Overall, this is a high-quality, important work that should find a place in most libraries—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
From the Publisher
“The full-color graphic biography of Anne, whose Holocaust-era diary has been read by millions, goes beyond the time period she recounts… It brings to life the story of the Frank family, [and] is as visually and historically accurate as possible — down to the clothing worn by the Franks, the military uniforms of the Nazis, the furniture and layout of the Franks' secret apartment, and Bergen-Belsen, the camp where Anne died in March 1945 at age 15.” —Carol Memmott, USA Today

 

“Rather than sentimentalizing Anne's story, Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography sets out to provide a historical context and is packed with snippets of information about significant events, ranging from the economic crisis of 1929 to Hitler’s rise to power, from the 1935 Nuremberg Laws — which excluded Jews from German society — to the Wannsee Conference in 1942, when the Nazis drew up plans to exterminate Europe’s Jews.” —Tristana Moore, Time

Library Journal
The team that brought us the comics version of The 9/11 Report draws on resources available through the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, and covers the lives of Anne's parents and historical background about the Nazis as well as Anne's story. Several other Anne Frank comics exist, but they're briefer and pitched for tweens or younger. See LJ's original review here. An essential purchase for teens and adults.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal
Jacobson and Colón—the collaborators on The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation—revisit an earlier tragedy. Among the most famous diarists of history, Frank and her Holocaust testimonial have become part of the intellectual landscape for the 20th century even for those who haven't read her original words. Not an adaptation of the diary itself, this comprehensive biography begins with Anne's parents, travels through Anne's upbringing prior to and during the Nazi regime and its death camps, and describes her father's survival. Otto learns of the death of his daughter and the rest of the family, finds her diary, and jump-starts Anne's legacy—she had wanted to become a writer. VERDICT This account was created with the full cooperation of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Historical contexts, maps, charts, and time lines make the story useful for all ages as a starting point for meeting the plucky Anne as not only memorializer of the Holocaust but also a delightful, perceptive heroine in her own right. The color art is attractive and evocative. An essential purchase. See Francisca Goldsmith's recent interview with the authors (http://bit.ly/ftim8K).—M.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809026852
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 211,315
  • Lexile: GN800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón first came together to create the New York Times bestselling The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (H&W, 2006). Since then, the pair have collaborated on Che: A Graphic Biography (H&W, 2009) and After 9/11: America's War on Terror (2001- ) (H&W, 2008). Jacobson was formerly the managing editor and editor in chief for Harvey Comics, and an executive editor at Marvel Comics. Artist Colón has worked at Harvey, Marvel, and DC Comics.

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Table of Contents

1 A Hopeful Beginning 3

2 Annelies Marie Frank 13

3 The Growth of Nazism 21

4 Amsterdam 27

5 Under German Rule 45

6 The Diary 64

7 The Eight Hiders 85

8 The New Year 98

9 Discovery 114

10 The Story Lives On 131

Chronology 143

Suggestions for Further Reading 149

Acknowledgments 151

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Reading Group Guide

Reading and Understanding the Work

1. After the "wedding day" illustration at the gateway to Chapter 1, the first drawing we see in this book (on page 4) is of a young woman. Who is she? What is she doing? What do we learn about Jacobson and Colón's book from this drawing alone?

2. On page 15, we see Adolf Hitler at a Nazi Party rally. It's the third time Hitler has appeared thus far, and he's been depicted in a slightly different manner each time. How would you explain these differing presentations?

3. In a panel on page 16, beneath a caption describing "economic collapse," we see a crowd of German citizens reading several posters and placards scattered across a public wall. How does this illustration underscore the role played throughout these pages by propaganda and/or control of the media? And how, according to this illustration, does such propaganda actually work? That is, what drives it?

4. In the lower-right panel of page 24, Otto and Edith Frank are on the left, and slightly in the background, while their unnamed friend is on the right, and shown in a mid-range close-up. No words are exchanged here--but strong emotions and ideas nevertheless come across. Can you characterize these emotions and ideas?

5. In Chapter 4, why do you think Miep Gies (on page 34) looks at Anne and thinks to herself: "Now here's the kind of child I'd like to have someday?"

6. In the top panel of page 54, we see Edith Frank correcting a remark made by one of her friends. She says, "Not dead . . . Killed." Provide the context for this correction.

7. Why do Anne and her sister switch schools in September of 1941? Describe Anne's experiences, in particular, at her new school.

8. On page 69, Edith answers the front door and finds that a "call-up" is being delivered. What does this mean? Who is this "call-up" for? And what does its arrival prompt the Frank family into doing?

9. On page 81, Anne notes in her diary: "We live in a paradise compared to the Jews who aren't in hiding." What do we learn, later in this page, about those other Jews?

10. Chapter 7 of Anne Frank is entitled "The Eight Hiders." Identify these people. How did they all come to live in the Secret Annex for some 21 months--or rather, what brought them together? How did they end up here?

11. At the top of page 89, Anne and Margot are doing chores and chatting. "Isn't this the kind of work they do in prisons?" asks Anne. Margot replies: "Perhaps we are in one." Explain this remark.

12.Why does Anne, on page 92, actually daydream of slapping her roommate across the face? And how, if at all, is her conflict with this roommate eventually resolved?

13. Who is Willem van Maaren? How does he figure into the narrative? And why does Anne seem to regard him with suspicion?

14. On page 102, in the middle-right panel, we see Anne ascending a staircase; she seems to see herself as a caged songbird. Why does she see herself in this way?

15. Anne, scissors in hand, is cutting out a drawing of a famous person on page 106. Who is the person? And why is Anne is doing this?

16. Does it strike you as apt, clever, or even ironic that the first kiss shared by Anne and Peter--as shown page 109--is rendered in a rather "Hollywood movie star" manner (given that both these young adults are such avid film buffs)? Explain your views.

17. Look again at the illustration in the lower-right panel of page 113. What are we seeing here, as Anne's narration (from her diary, actually) appears in a pair of captions? How does this illustration--the first "outside world" glimpse that we (as readers) have had in several panels--visually set up what we find on the very next page?

18. On page 115, we see a man named Karl Josef Silberbauer. Who is he? Where have we encountered him previously in the pages of Anne Frank?

19. Why is Anne so transfixed, while riding on a train on page 119, by everything that she sees outside the window?

20. Who are the three men pictured in the lower-right corner of page 130? Why do you think this trio is depicted by Jacobson and Colón at this particular point in the narrative?

21. On page 133, and in subsequent pages, we can see that Otto's clothes fit him loosely. Why is this so?

22. What does Miep Gies mean when she says to Otto (on page 134): "Here is your daughter Anne's legacy to you?"What is Miep giving to Otto? And where, and when, did she find it?

23. On page 139, we learn that Karl Josef Silberbauer never went to prison. Do you think he should have? Why or why not?

24. Study the placement of the two human figures appearing in the large illustration on page 140.Why do you think these two people have been thus arrayed on the page? What does this composition, this graphic placement, tell you about these two?

Topics and Exercises for the Class

1. On page 9, we find the first of many Snapshots appearing in Anne Frank -- these are short breaks in Jacobson and Colón's overall narrative that function as historical explanations or detailed factual asides. As a class, or perhaps in smaller conversational groups, point out a few Snapshots from throughout the book that equipped you with new information--or with a new way of understanding things.

2. The gateway illustration for Chapter 3 (on page 21) clashes somewhat dramatically with the title for this chapter. We see a charming trio--Anne as a toddler, her mother, and her older sister--hurrying along a city street, perhaps going shopping or heading home. Then we note the text: "The Growth of Nazism."Write a short essay or poem that reflects on how this clash--this conflict of disturbing words and pleasant images -- is echoed throughout the pages of Anne Frank.

3. Discuss why the narrative at the end of Chapter 3 makes a point of mentioning that Frankfurt was "a city in which the [Frank] family had lived for centuries."What does this fact have to do with the larger story being told here? Why is it relevant?

4. On page 73, the spatial dimensions of the Secret Annex are given. Either alone or with some help from a classmate, take a few measurements of your own, and then consider how the rooms in the annex compare to the size of your classroom--or to the rooms comprising your own home. Finally, compose a short story or poem (or perhaps create a video, or draw an illustration) in which you imagine what it would be like to live--and to hide--for two full years, as Anne and the others did, in such a confined indoor space.

5. On page 110, we see Anne writing in her diary beneath a caption that mentions how she's "maturing intellectually"--she's beginning to discover the complexity of things like war, love, and selfhood. Are these discoveries (or fledgling discoveries) what cause her, a few panels later, to write such a harsh letter to Otto? Explain.

6. As a class, take a close look at page 116 of Anne Frank. Here we see one of the pivotal scenes--one of the crucial moments, certainly--in the entire narrative. What is happening in the six panels on this page?What is the one tool or instrument that appears in all six of these panels? And why?

7. In the top panel on page 129, note how the "fence" being described in the text is incorporated into the actual artwork--indeed, into the sequential layout--of the page itself. How, if at all, does this bring you (as a reader) "closer" to the scenes and characters being depicted?

8. On page 135, Anne writes in her diary about her own "greatest wish." Did that wish, in a way, actually come true? Write a short essay that addresses this question.

9. Miep Gies died in early 2010. Her obituary in The New York Times had the following headline: "Miep Gies, 100, the Last of Those Who Hid Anne Frank and Her Family." As an independent project, look up this obituary, read it, and then write your own summary of Miep's life.

10. Take a moment to reflect on the special relationship had by Otto and Anne throughout Anne Frank. Why are these two so close? What special bonds, or personality traits, do they share? Is it fair to say that this graphic biography is as much Otto's story as it is Anne's? Explain your views.

11. The noted historian Jan Romein, pictured next to his wife at the top of page 136, wrote the following about Anne Frank's diary in 1946: "For me, this seemingly insignificant child's diary . . . embodies the real hideousness of fascism, more so than all the evidence at Nuremberg." Read Anne's actual diary--if you've not done so already--and then write a personal essay about this statement, either in support of it or in opposition to it.

12. The text of Anne Frank concludes with a Chronology section, where we find many of the stirring photographs on which various drawings in this work are based. Why are some of the listings in this section presented in red, while others are in black? Also, note how each page of the timeline offers a different quotation from Otto. Recite them in front of your class. Then describe to your fellow students what the quote means to you personally.

13. Finally, conclude your discussion of Anne Frank by comparing and contrasting it with other creative works that you have previously encountered on the Holocaust -- be they plays, films, books, short stories, poems, videos, graphic novels, or the like.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Confusing/Weak Writing

    Having always had an interest in World War II and the Holocaust I was excited when my friend Adam found this graphic novel sitting on a table in Barnes and Noble. During my graphic novel kick I asked Adam if I could borrow it, to which he responded of course!

    Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Novel tells the story of Anne Frank, a name that has become synonymous with the Holocaust. The book is a mesh of information about Anne's life and also about what was going on in Europe with Hitler and the Nazis.

    I feel absolutely terrible for saying this, but I was not a fan of this graphic novel. The idea of it was there, but it just wasn't executed well. The novel intertwines the lives of the Frank's and the history of the Holocaust together, side by side. Unfortunately the book becomes very choppy because of this storytelling technique. There are parts of the dialogue that are written over multiple boxes, making it difficult to figure out which order to read in.

    The illustrations of the novel are fantastic. Ernie Colon did a wonderful job with the drawing the difficult subject matter of the concentration camps. His depictions of the camps give a clear picture of their horrendous nature, but are toned down slightly to give younger readers an opportunity to read and view this.

    I would recommend this graphic novel for those looking for a new way to experience the story of Anne Frank. While the book is a bit disjointed and confusing, Anne Frank's story is one worth pursuing.

    Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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