Shadow Life

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Overview

In a groundbreaking work, acclaimed author Barry Denenberg explores the history of the Holocaust and the lives of Anne Frank and her family.

Denenberg presents the complete story of Anne Frank and her family's life, from Frankfurt, Germany, where Anne and Margot were born before the war, up through to their murders at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. When the Franks leave Frankfurt for Amsterdam, they are hoping to find a place where they can resume a normal life, but ...

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New York, NY 2005 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 240 p. Contains: Illustrations. Shadow Life. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 2005 Hard Cover First Edition /First Printing New in New jacket Hardcover with jacket. New. 1st., 1st.

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Overview

In a groundbreaking work, acclaimed author Barry Denenberg explores the history of the Holocaust and the lives of Anne Frank and her family.

Denenberg presents the complete story of Anne Frank and her family's life, from Frankfurt, Germany, where Anne and Margot were born before the war, up through to their murders at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. When the Franks leave Frankfurt for Amsterdam, they are hoping to find a place where they can resume a normal life, but instead, the family's freedoms are taken away bit by bit. But it is when they see that other Jews are being taken away, and sent to so-called labor camps that the Franks realize they have no choice but to go into hiding; they live in fear for 2 years.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Denenberg is clearly passionate about his subject. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm doesn't translate into a thoughtful, well-written biography. One problem is his audience: the introduction and bibliographical essay are directed at adults, while the text swings from upper elementary to high school (and back again). Second, the writing is often awkward and choppy, with an annoying use of sentence fragments. Third, there are many errors, omissions, and unanswered questions. Finally, the book's four sections are disjointed. "Living" is a straightforward narrative. In "Hiding," Denenberg covers the Franks' years in the Secret Annex through a fictional diary "written" by Anne's sister, Margot. In his introduction he claims that this made-up diary accomplishes six "important things," but it doesn't. There are a number of discrepancies between Margot's "diary" and Anne's. And, by not quoting any of Anne's entries, key insights into her personality, feelings and beliefs, and growing maturity are absent-from her own biography. "Dying" uses oral histories of concentration-camp survivors. "Surviving" is disappointingly brief and ends abruptly with the publication of Anne's diary. There is nothing about the play or movie/TV adaptations, nothing on the Anne Frank House or Foundation, nothing on the controversies that have arisen regarding the diary's authenticity (and how it was edited), and-most importantly-nothing about the diary's enormous impact. While not totally satisfactory, Susan Goldman Rubin's Searching for Anne Frank (Abrams, 2003) is both thorough and interesting.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A line taken out of context from Anne Frank's diary ("in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart") is too often used to turn Anne's story into something uplifting. Denenberg provides a valuable resource that takes readers beyond the diary into the concentration camps, where Anne's brief life ended horribly. The unusual, three-part structure of the volume includes an account of Anne's early years, a fictional recreation of the diary kept by Margot, Anne's older sister, and an oral history of the last months of the Frank family in the voices of the survivors of Westerbork, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, people who were there with Anne and her family members. The essence of Anne's story is not in any uplifting sentiment, but in demonstrating how an ordinary girl can become the victim of hate and violence. If Anne's story helps us see that each life is precious, "then the diary that Anne was given can be a gift to us, too." (introduction, chronology, source notes, bibliographical essay, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439416788
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Series: Shadow Life
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 12 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2007

    Shadow Life-- A Portrait of Anne Frank and Her Family, by Barry Denenberg

    ¿She heard heavy boots on the stairs and then Anne¿s lighter, almost inaudible footsteps.¿ Shadow Life, by Barry Denenberg, is told through Anne¿s older sister, Margot¿s, eyes and vividly describes the way it felt to be a Jew during World War II. In her diary, she illustrates the tension between the two families living in hiding, and the fight to stay alive in the confined space they are spending their life in. Shadow Life is a compelling and straightforward read that is cleverly weaved together into four parts: an introduction two essays on the time the Franks lived in and in the middle, the story is told from Margot¿s point of view, through her diary. It is definitely an amazing way to tell the story of the Frank¿s and of World War II and is an excellent source from which to learn about the Holocaust. The book gives a remarkable description of the beginning and end of the war, by telling in detail the story of the way the Franks had to flee from Germany because of the danger before them. Then it describes the life they led in Holland, and the pressure they were under as times changed. Finally, their dreadful life during the Holocaust is portrayed. In the first and last part of the book, Barry Denenberg explains the life of the Franks more factually, but grabs the reader¿s attention by laying their feelings bare, as in this passage: ¿When Otto returned and Edith showed him the notice he knew immediately that they couldn¿t wait until July 16. He had told Margot and Anne that they might have to do this it was just sooner than expected. His calm explanation did little to reduce his daughters¿ fears.¿ The third part of the book is ingeniously told through Margot¿s eyes, from her diary. It not only tells of her feelings in hiding, but also shows the relationships between the two families living together and, particularly, the personality clashes between her sister Anne and her mother: ¿Wednesday, October 14, 1942: Mommy and Anne are getting along a little better, which is a relief. Truthfully I don¿t think we can afford these pretty squabbles. Our life is oppressive enough without them. I for one refuse to participate.¿ Although Shadow Life has a lot of powerful information to digest, it is not a dense read -one can read along without having to put it down to think long and hard about the meaning of it. It is written for young adult readers, and is a powerful way to learn about the World War II from a new perspective in some detail, without having to read a history text book. It illustrates in depth, for example, the description of what the camps looked like and felt like for the Jews, and the procedures they had to go through after exiting the train leading to them. Barry Denenberg strongly shows the tragic life of the Frank family and other Jews, and has written a great book that teaches children and young adults a true story of World War II. It is, without a doubt, a page turner, and will inspire many to read more on the Holocaust and war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am 13 years old and I love reading historic books about things that seem just so unreal. I learned alot about what really happened to the Jews in Holland and in the countries that the German Nazi's took over. I learned about what Anne and her older sister Margot went through while they were there. You should really read this book! It's a wonderful story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    Koo koo ka choo (Just a random title.)

    This book does not portray Anne's thoughts and feelings, but more of her sister's Margot. This book was really intriguing, and very informational. This is perfect for any child struggling with the Holocaust, and World War Two. (The book includes a timeline.) However the book somewhat makes Anne look bad. (Only during Margot's dairy entries.) Overall the book was quite fascinating, but depressing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2006

    This Book Was Very Informational

    This book was kind of depressing, but you also in the end feel thankful that now you know all about the times that Jews were going through back then. Very grabbing, I didn't want to put it down! Barry Denenberg, you did a good job! ^_^

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