The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank

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Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Restored in this Definitive Edition are diary entries that were omitted from the original edition. These passages, which constitute 30 percent more material, reinforce the fact that Anne was first and foremost a ...

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Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Restored in this Definitive Edition are diary entries that were omitted from the original edition. These passages, which constitute 30 percent more material, reinforce the fact that Anne was first and foremost a teenage girl, not a remote and flawless symbol. She fretted about and tried to cope with her own sexuality. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever.

Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the horrors of Nazi occupation, hid in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse for two years. She was thirteen when she went into the Secret Annex with her family.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The new edition reveals a new depth to Anne's  dreams, irritations, hardship, and passions . . .  There may be no better way to commemorate the fiftieth  anniversary of the end of World War II than to  reread The Diary of a Young Girl,  a testament to an indestructivle nobility of  spirit in the face of pure  evil."—Chicago Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553577129
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: The Definitive Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 56,658
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Frank was born in 1929 in Germany. Her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933, and she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Francine Prose is the author of the novels A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the guide Reading Like a Writer, and Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife.

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Reading Group Guide

This guide is organized to help readers understand and reflect on Anne Frank's diary. Background information, time lines, and the glossary provide historical context for the years of Anne's life and are designed to place her diary within the framework of the events taking place during World War II and the Holocaust. Special details have been included to highlight the twenty-five month period during which Anne and her family hid in the Secret Annex, as well as the aftermath.

The study questions for students are arranged in three parts. The first set of questions relates to facets contributing to Anne's personal identity. The second set of questions examines the relationship of Anne to the world outside the Annex. The final set of questions considers the ongoing issues that Anne raised in her diary over fifty years ago. For additional educational materials, including teacher's notes and activities, please contact the Anne Frank Center USA, 584 Broadway, Suite 408, New York, NY, 10012.

1, a) After the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch people were immediately faced with the question of choice: how to respond to the Nazi occupation. Tens of thousands of Dutch people followed Hitler, and millions more looked the other way. Eventually, a resistance movement began to grow. The Nazis needed Dutch collaborators to carry out their fascist decrees. What would have influenced someone to become a collaborator? What factors would have encouraged someone to join the resistance? Do you think these factors were based on personal characteristics or political beliefs? What was the price of resistance during the war? What was the price of collaboration? b) Anne Frank and her family were German refugees who resettled and tried to build their lives in the Netherlands. Although the Franks were proud of their German heritage, their feelings toward Germany became very complicated during the war. Anne wrote: "Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I'm actually one of them! No. that's not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews." (October 9, 1942.) Although Anne had lived in the Netherlands since 1934, she did not become a Dutch citizen. Did Anne have a nationality? If not, were Anne's civil rights protected by any nation? By 1939 some 250,000 Jews, half of Germany's Jewish population, had fled their homeland. Did these refugees have any guaranteed rights? After the war Otto Frank responded to references to "the Germans" by asking "which German?" He believed strongly that blaming all Germans was another form of stereotyping. What constitutes a stereotype? How is a stereotype different from discrimination? c) In The New York Times the writer Anna Quindlen asked, "Would our understanding of the Holocaust be quite the same if Anne Frank had not taken a small plaid diary into hiding with her?" What has most shaped your understanding of World War II: personal experience, Anne's diary, popular films such as Schindler's List, newsreel footage, academic or historical texts? d) Otto Frank chose to edit out some of the negative comments Anne made about her mother and a number of the other residents of the Secret Annex—comments that have been restored in the new translation by Susan Massotty. He believed that Anne would have wanted him to do so. Do you think he was correct? e) In her diary Anne opined: "...if you're wondering if it's harder for the adults here than for the children, the answer is no...Older people have an opinion about everything and are sure of themselves and their actions. It's twice as hard for us young people to hold on to our opinions at a time when ideals are being shattered..." (July 15, 1944.) When was the last time as an adult that you experienced the "shattering" of an ideal? Is the media a neutral force, or do you think it plays a role in supporting or destroying idealism? f) Are there certain characteristics common among those few individuals who risked their own lives to rescue Jews during World War II? Why do so many of them deny their own heroism? g) A disturbing number of neo-Nazi groups have taken hold in all parts of the world. What social conditions would be necessary for them to grow? What do you believe would be the most likely basis of another world war: pride, nationalism, fear, racism, economic interests, or religious intolerance? h) Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was asked how he could explain the killing of 6 million Jews. He answered, "One hundred dead are a catastrophe, a million dead are a statistic." Have we become more or less tolerant of murder since he made this observation? i) Anne Frank wrote: "I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago!" (May 3, 1944.) How should accountability be assigned? So many say they never understood what was happening. How likely could that have been? j) Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925, describing his plan for the elimination of Jews. At that time, what steps might have been taken to stop Hitler's rise to power?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 186 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 102 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2004

    not what it seems

    ok people, the headline has to do with my rating, not the book, i figured if you saw the one star, it'd stand out more then all the five stars that every other reviwer gave i rate this book 5 stars and i can sum it up in one sentence- this book completely shatters your views about life. read the book and you'll see what i'm talking about

    21 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Solid writing by a young girl with a brilliant mind

    This diary is one of the best examples of solid writing you can find and it comes from an unexpected source. A young teenager. Her description of life in hiding is compelling and provides an extraordinary view of such a terrible time in our history.

    Since this is the definitive edition, you have to be careful in who you give this book too. It addresses some minor adult subjects.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    A Must for Every Girl

    This book has it all: history, words of wisdom, and teen insights! As a teenage girl, it was a relief to read a book where a girl my age describes troubles similar to mine. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes history and a story that deals with what every teen goes through.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    I think this may be one of the best books I¿ve ever read. I don¿

    I think this may be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I don’t think there’s a better way to learn about the Holocaust than getting to read a victim’s personal experience from their point of view. I decided I wanted to read her whole diary after reading the play version with my class and I found it really interesting. Then I went out and bought the actual diary and just recently finished reading it.
    By reading this book, you start to feel as if you know Anne. You get the opportunity to read her inner thoughts and all of her most significant experiences in the Secret Annex. Usually, you only hear about what the Jews in concentration camps experienced. You don’t typically get the chance to know what it was like to be a Jew in hiding during the Holocaust. With Anne’s diary, you get a better understanding of what it was like for her, her family, the Van Daan’s, and Dr. Dussel.
    I think this book is both educational, and interesting. I believe that it can teach its readers many things. It can educate you about the Holocaust but can also show you that you should appreciate what you have and that life is short.
    This is, in my personal opinion, a wonderful book. It’s one of the best I’ve ever read. If you haven’t yet read it, I highly recommend that you do.
    If you’re interested in historical events such as the Holocaust and World War I, this is definitely a book you would enjoy. I think Anne did a great job with her writing and accomplished living on even after her death.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    First of all, I felt slightly ashamed for reading a young girl's diary. Obviously Anne Frank did not write her diary with the intentions of it being a worldwide classic translated to at least thirty languages and adapted for theater and television production.
    With that said, I can really say that Anne Frank and I have a lot more in common than I thought we would. This realization struck me by surprise. Who knew that a modern person that rarely has to worry about war could have so much in common with a person that has air raids shaking their house at night? Well, we actually have similar views on life and also what the world should be like. If I ever met Anne I would expect to either be good friends or we would hate each other because we were so much the same.
    Anne's writing, in retrospect, made it obvious that she was much more intelligent than kids in her day and age, and kids her age today. Some things that Anne writes are so true that they should be quoted somewhere, so everyday people can apply what she wrote to their life. I also really liked Anne because of this.
    Anne wrote as if she were speaking to another person (Kitty) and not just herself. I think this made the diary much more interesting than if she had wrote it to herself. This really was what allowed the reader to feel a part of the story.
    Because of this writing style, throughout the book I was creating a connection to Anne, her family, and all of the people in the "Secret Annexe". If they felt suspense, I felt suspense. If there was a sudden lift in the atmosphere, I could feel relief just as well.
    It was pretty incredible seeing how people reacted together in a close environment paired with the ineffable tragedy of the war. The atmosphere really did affect everyone in the household. At times the "Secret Annexe" emanated joy, alleviation, and a bit of hope. At other times, Mrs. Van Daan's constant grousing could ruin everyone's mood. Anne could feel frustrated with her parents and so misunderstood, or love Peter and the family members that do so much for her. This was all a part of living in the "Secret Annexe".
    Anne's plight was similar to that of other Jews in hiding. There was that constant fear of being found, the longing to be free of judgement and ostracizing governments. Sometimes Anne was desperate for it to all be over, at least then she would know the result of things and could finally stop her worrying about what was to be. In the end, we all know what that result was, but Anne's life and experiences were not a waste. This book, this diary, is what comes to show from "Yours, Anne", a young girl that will always be remembered.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Story of A Young Inspirational Writer

    Love this book so much! It like everything she writing points directly to my problems. I just cant believe a girl in that time period can have the same problems as me. This book just made me look at life different.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010


    For her thirteenth birthday, Anne Frank recieved a diary. Little did she know that the diary would later become one of the greatest and well-known books of all time. The Frank family, the Van Daan family, and Albert Dussel move into hiding together not knowing what to expect. In the two years that the families are in the Secret Annex, they experience hunger, despair, and being absolutely terrified of being found and taken to concentration camps. The story of the Secret Annex through Anne Frank's perspective is definitely worth reading.

    Anne Frank's diary entries are very descriptive and well-written. She uses words that are way beyond her years to describe her struggles at the Secret Annex with her unappreciative mother, her 7 other roommates who think she is nothing but a nuisance, her need for love and affection, the struggles they have with food and supplies, the constant sounds of war, and her desire to learn. Anne informs us on what it was like to live through World War II through a teenager's point of view. Even though at the time of Anne's diary entries the world was going through a major war, Anne still expresses her needs just like any other teenager would have, especially the want for love. Anne Frank's diary is a must read.

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    One of my favorite books of all time.

    Such intelligent observations from a young girl. What touched me the most was the fact that this girl living in one of the most terrifying positions you could ever be could manage to find happiness, keep her trust upon humanity, and hold on to dear hope. I think everyone can learn something from this girl's account. She's someone you can relate to on different levels. Its as though you really know her, growing up with her, watching her grow and mature before you.Its sad once you realize the reality of it all but it makes it ever more amazing.A book to teach you a little bit about life, even if it comes from a teenage girl. It's timeless.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    The Diary of a Young Girl

    I felt that The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was very inspiring and enjoyable to read. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl in Amsterdam who wrote about her experiences while hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Anne was in a great desire to find someone she could share her emotions with, and the closest thing she had to this was her diary that she had received for her thirteenth birthday. I admire the strength Anne had to endure her life during the holocaust and how she would find comfort in her diary when she was feeling sad and lonely. Anne had so much hope for the future and dreamed of becoming a journalist and writer. It is difficult to even grasp an understanding of how hard it would be to go through the struggles of starvation, loneliness, and the fear of being discovered and taken to concentration camps like Anne had experienced.
    I strongly recommend this book to people of all ages. Those who are interested in historic non-fiction and the struggles of life during the holocaust will find this girls story very interesting and moving in the way she describes her life in such poor living conditions. It is hard to imagine that such a horrifying event would happen in the history of our world. It makes me cringe to think about the way Jews had been treated by the Nazi's in the concentration camps. Anne was such an innocent young girl who deserved a quality life of being treated fairly despite her religion or what she looked like. I pray that the places that still exist in the world today where people are still being treated unfairly will learn that in the eyes of God, everyone is created equal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Review by Lance E. Leslie III

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, is one of the most inspiring and phenomenal books that I, and most likely many people, have ever read. It is mind-boggling to me to know, that a thirteen year old girl tells her own story in a diary, to an unknown audience in a Secret Annex for two years. That is simply unbelievable. I truly believe that anyone who reads this book will not only discover deep interest for it, but will be inspired by the entire storyline, and biography of this young girl, who is, Anne Frank. I love the fact that the story is written in dates because not only does it inform you, but it reminds you of the realism of Anne Frank's diary. The only few parts that I did not enjoy of this book were the articles that Anne had written when she was feeling sad and terrified of her situation. I did not like this because it made me feel bad for her, and it really forced me to think of my own self in that kind of situation, which is not something that people today would even like to think about.
    I would most definitely recommend this book to teenagers and adults of all ages. For many young adults, and most people in general, this book has the potential to change their lives in a dramatic way. I do not think that most modern day people can even relate to this young girl's story because I know for a fact that I cannot relate to it at all. I would not recommend this book to younger children because I am sure that they would not fully understand the situation that Anne Frank was actually in. It is unbelievable to me that Anne actually came to realize her situation. Although, there obviously couldn't have been any misunderstanding to her, or any of the other people living in the Secret Annex, of their situation.
    I am very surprised that this book is not apart of any high school curriculum. It would be a fantastic book to read when learning about Germany in the 1940s under Adolf Hitler's dictatorship. I think many students in high school would actually enjoy, and find this book interesting. I do not think that there is any reason that this would not be a good book for a high school student.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:


    I am only 12 years old and I love this book.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Diary of Anne Frank

    Book Review Outline Dakoda Harper
    Book title and author: The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett
    Title of review:
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 3

    The Dairy of Anne Frank is about two families that were Jewish and had to go into hiding because of the holocaust. The purpose of this story is that it tells us about how Jewish people had to live and die through the holocaust. I'm doing the review on this story is because it's a story about so many things that had to do with the holocaust.
    Description and summary of main points
    This book is about a little girl that's 12 years old and has to go into hiding in a place called the Secret Annex. Anne and her family, Mr. and Mrs. Frank also her sister Margot, also the Van Daan family, Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and their son Peter. Oh also Mr. Dussel too.

    Well the story takes place in Amsterdam, Holland. There is many characters like the Frank family, the Van Daan family, Mr. Dussel, Meip, and Mr. Krarler. The story tells about so much of the holocaust like how some of the people died and was tortured. Unlike other stories about it.
    . I'm doing the review on this story is because it's a story about so many things that had to do with the holocaust.

    Your final review
    I really recommend reading this book!!!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    The Dairy Of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

    Book Review Outline Chris Halpenny
    Book title and author: The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
    Title of review:
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 3

    This book is about a two families of Jewish people who go into hiding during the holocaust. The purpose of this book is to explain what the families had to go through to not be caught by the Nazis. I chose to do a review on this book, because it's an exciting book it keeps you wanting to know more!
    Description and summary of main points
    A young girl named Anne Frank writes in her diary about her hiding in the Secret Annex, to not get caught by the Nazis. She is in hiding with her parents Mr. and Mrs. Frank, her sister Margot, The Van Daans, Peter, and Mr. Dussel. Through out the book there are a lot of conflicts between the characters. Peter and Anne fall in love!

    The book takes place in Amsterdam, Holland. The characters are Anne, Mr. and Mrs. Frank, Margot, Peter, Mr. Dussel, and Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan. This book gives some information about what happened. I don't really know of another book like this one.

    Like I said before this is an exciting book it keeps you to want to know more! Mr. Van Daan steals food wich causes a huge conflict between all the characters.

    Your final review
    I would recommend you reading this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    The diary of anne frank was a good book in many ways. It has turth and action in it.They are in an attic in her fathers buliding.

    Anne Franks family go into hiding from the nazi army. thet are in an attic for months and months. Her family is jewish and they dont want to go to the camps and be killed or work to death. what will happen to Anne and her faimly will they live through the war or be captured. Anne Frank is a good book because it was basedon a real person and event. It also told how hard it was to live as a jew during the world war two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    My Evaluation on "The Diary of a Young girl" by Anne Frank

    The book is a very good book and i would recomnend this book to all people that like stories about people hiding from people so they won't be apart of the holocaust.

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A must read.

    Years ago I read the Diary of Anne Frank but not the definitive edition. This edition is so much better. It makes her more human. This edition shows what it was like for a teenager and not being able to have friends, go outside, and have fun. It shows the real Anne Frank.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Literary Classic

    If I had to rate this book on a five star scale, I would give it four and a half stars. I, a seventeen year old girl, became completely implicated in Anne's life. Anne Frank's diary starts off as a story of how she obtained the diary and why she is confiding herself to it. It becomes clear right away that Anne is your typical innocent thirteen-year-old; whose biggest worries include grades in school, relationships with boys, friends, and now, seemingly trivial feuds with parents. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the Franks were forced into hiding in a small secret annex in Amsterdam with an eventual four other people from other families. Because Anne is a German Jew she finds it difficult to understand why the Jews are being singled out and persecuted. As time passes in hiding Anne's diary entries becomes much more mature, philosophical, and cynical.
    One of the most prominent themes in this book is that of the loneliness of adolescence. From the very beginning Anne Frank's perpetual feeling of being lonely and misunderstood provides the impetus for her dedicated diary writing of her experiences. In July 1942 Anne wrote, "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support". Anne expresses gratitude that the diary can act as a confidant with whom she can share her innermost thoughts. This might seem weird coming from such a young girl, but Anne explains that she is never comfortable discussing her emotions even to close friends. Naturally when the Franks go into hiding, this feeling of loneliness only grows for Anne.
    Another important theme in the book is that of the inward versus the outward self. Anne frequently expresses her conviction that there are "two Annes": the lively, public Anne; and the Anne whom only she really knows. Anne struggles with her two selves throughout the diary, trying to be genuine, while at the same time striving to fit in. On January 22, 1944, Anne asks a question-"Can you tell me why people go to such lengths to hide their real selves?" That suggests that she finally realizes that she is not alone in hiding her true feelings and fears. With this realization, Anne starts to read into other people's behavior more deeply and starts to think about their true but hidden motivations.
    Diary of a Young Girl, is just that. It's a story of a young Jewish girl living through the holocaust. When I first began to read The Diary of a Young Girl I kind of felt like I was intruding in on her life by reading by her personal diary. But as the story went on it became evident that Anne had stopped writing in her diary for just her escape from the world, and began to write solely for her audience. She wrote about how cool it would be to share her diary with others once the war was over. I have found The Diary of a Young Girl to be an especially important book to read at least once in your life because it puts the idea of the genocide more into prospective. When you read in a history book that 11 million people died in the holocaust, of course it sounds sad. But only like a, "Wow that's A LOT of people dead for something stupid"- sad. On the other hand, when you actually "get to know" just one of those people who died, that number becomes a lot more real. It will make you realize that each and every person who died in the holocaust had a story behind their life, just as you, Anne Frank, and I.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I love this is a touching,mouth dropping book.I loved it. Thanks for publishing it.<BR/><BR/>Love, <BR/>Baileyirishckick

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Better then what I thought...........

    Anne Frank was really smart to write down all the events that have happen in the Annex.It was a brave move on her behalf. It was interesting to see the trial and tribulations they all had to go through. She also put how everyone was feeling at certain moments, but yet kept it interesting. Where it didnt just stay focus on one topic.She also put alot of history, and her feelings about almost everything that took place. I enjoyed the book, I didnt like how it ended. But other then that....great book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008


    This Diary is an amazing story about a teenage girl that has to go into hiding during the Holocaust. Anne Frank was a Jew, and Jew¿s were not able to do things that other people could do. Jews had to walk and were not allowed to drive, were not allowed to ride bikes, or go to the movies. Anne and her family had to hide in the Secret Annex for two years. Anne¿s mom, dad, sister Margot, and herself have to be very quite so they do not get caught. It was not only hard to talk quietly they also had to walk VERY soft. After a couple days or so more people come hide with them in the Secret Annex. If you want to find out what happens in the end you should read this book. I have never been a reader, but I will read this book again. I would recommend that if you have not already read this book you should. This book is perfect for learning about the Holocaust, and how it was like to be a Jew in the 1900¿s.

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