The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Overview

For almost fifty years, Anne Frank's diary has moved millions with its testament to the human spirit's indestructibility, but readers have never seen the full text of this beloved book—until now. This new translation, performed by Winona Ryder, restores nearly one third of Anne's entries, excised by her father in previous editions, revealing her burgeoning sexuality, her stormy relationship with her mother, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553296983
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1993
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 273
Product dimensions: 6.86(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.79(d)
Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction by Francine Prose

Every masterpiece is unique, but some are more anomalous than others. If we consider all the volumes that have appeared so far in the Everyman series, the cornerstones and classics of our cultural tradition, The Diary of Anne Frank is, we may notice, the only one to have been written by a girl between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. If it seems improbable that a person of that tender age should have produced a work not just of maturity but of genius, that improbability only increases the awe we feel, or ought to feel, in the presence of a book that possesses all the qualities we expect of great memoirs and spiritual autobiographies, and, to some extent, of great novels.

Varied and memorable characters are revealed in all their complexity and depth, summoned to life on the page complete with all their most admirable virtues and most maddening flaws, their engagingly and appallingly human quirks and contradictions. We find ourselves in the presence of a singular consciousness, a highly particular and utterly persuasive narrative voice, elastic and capacious enough to encompass the most day-to-day details of domestic life (how to peel potatoes!), incisive portrayals of the ways in which people behave under enormous stress, flights of speculative metaphysics, and passages of sophisticated inquiry into the mystery of human nature. Comparing Anne Frank's diary to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, the poet John Berryman point out that the diary allows its readers to watch the growth of a soul, the simultaneously quotidian and miraculous transformation that accompanies what Berryman termed "the conversion of a child into a person," a process that, in his view, had never been so brilliantly or even adequately described before Anne Frank tracked it in herself, and recorded it in her diary. "It took, I believe," wrote Berryman, "a special pressure forcing the child-adult conversion, and exceptional self-awareness and exceptional candour and exceptional powers of expression, to bring that strange or normal change into view."

The diary reminds us of what it is like to go through a stage of life — adolescence — that all readers past childhood have endured and still remember, or have tried to forget. It speaks to us about the universal experiences of first love, family entanglements, hope and despair, society and solitude, terror and even boredom, and at the same time it reports on an utterly specific and exceptionally ugly period in our history, an era that is receding from living memory with every second that passes. Like all great art, it reveals something about the individual hand that created it, and something about what it means to be a human being — in this case, what is require to maintain human decency and compassion in the most inhuman and dehumanizing circumstances.

*

The Diary of Anne Frank is among the most widely read and taught and (for a variety of reasons, most often its delicate but clear-eyed portrayal of adolescent sexuality) most frequently censored texts in the world; translated from the original Dutch into dozens of languages, it appears on the curriculum of schools everywhere. Viewing Laurent Cantet's 2008 French film, The Class (Entre les murs), set in a high school in the suburbs of Paris, we watch a group of teenagers, nearly all of the first-generation immigrants to France, studying and discussing the diary. In 2004, a segment of the CBS series 60 Minutes reported that North Korean schoolchildren were being instructed to see themselves as Anne Frank, and George W. Bush as the modern equivalent of Hitler.

What most students learn is that Anne Frank began writing in the little book, with its checked cloth cover, soon after she received it as a gift from her parents on the occasion of her thirteenth birthday, in June 1942. Roughly a month after Anne commenced her giddy narrative of friends and boyfriends, childish allegiances and humorous experiences at school, her family went into hiding in a cramped attic (as it is often termed, though this common feature of Amsterdam canal-house construction more resembles what might be called a rear addition) above and behind the spice and pectin business her father Otto ran until the Nazi racial laws made it illegal for Otto, a Jew, to conduct any business at all.

For the next twenty-five months, until August 1944, when the Frank family was arrested and deported, first to the Westerbork transit camp and afterwards to Auschwitz, the Franks — Otto, his wife Edith, their daughters Margot and Anne — shared the "secret annex" with the Van Pels family (Hermann, Auguste, and their son Peter) and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer. As those months wore on, Anne's vivid account of their lives in hiding developed into a very different kind of book from anything that she, newly turned thirteen, could have imagined that she would be confiding in her journal.

Reading Group Guide

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 astereotype 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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The Diary of a Young Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1028 reviews.
mothman More than 1 year ago
I love this book- at times I forgot that she was as young as she was, or that she wasn't even alive anymore. I felt like I new her, and she became a great friend of mine. It seemed to me that as she got more and more used to writing, it all seemed to come to her more and more naturally. There were some discussions- as innocent as they were- that she and Peter had near the end of the book. I found parts of it a bit awkward to read, seeing as she was so young and open about them, but as a kid myself I know it is a common occurrence in conversation. But, nevertheless, it was one of the few real diaries of the Holocaust that I have come across, and is also one of the best Holocaust books I have ever read. I honestly wish they would've survived and been able to marry. Every page holds some new meaning, or some new secret worry that Anne has to hide from everyone else. And she was so truthful to her diary! She admitted her hopes and fears, and even her angers and faults. When she found her roommate had a secret stash of goods he kept from everyone, I could practically feel her outrage! She described that weird old man so well- he was such a creep! He was probably a weird old pervert, and I'm sorry that she had to room with him. I can totally get the mother-daughter fighting thing, though I probably didn't get as mad, and I can never hold a grudge. Anne was right to hold out and keep true to herself, even though it seems no one in the world is willing to do that anymore- but if you're already in hiding and being persecuted for your religion. that's the same thing as being persecuted for your beliefs! Letting go would've been like turning away from your religion, and everything that the Jews fighting for freedom stood for. In short- I really liked it, and I would recommend this to anyone, for any occasion. It was a wonderful read, and I will never, ever forget it. It's a shame she didn't live to write more, it really is. Five stars- please, please, please- go read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those of u who dont like it just dont you the story of what she went through. Learn more about her story then you still dont have room to criticize her. What would you be acting like if you were in hiding for two years? Yeah.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a must-read for all of you out there who want to get a glimpse into what it was like to be a Jew during WW2 in the Nazi occupied Europe...Anne opened an incredible window for us to look into the ordeal millions of Jewish lives went through because of the attrocities carried out by Hitler and his followers...The book is very genuine and a page turner...I definitely recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Being different doesnt matter it makes YOU unique!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not the most touching of the Holocaust stories in my opinion, but one thing sticks out: Anne lives more than we do today locked up in that annex. Her spirit refused to be calmed. She refused to stop studying. And while she has her sad and despairing moments, she refused to be stripped of one human right: the right to feel and act on the good and bad moments. Anne is a picture of a thriving human being in the worst of times. If she had lived, the world would still have known the name of Anne Frank.
najaha90 More than 1 year ago
"Don't judge the book by its cover." i thought the book was going to be about the girl on the book cover and i thought "boring" but really it wasn't boring at all. I think Anne's diary made the Holocaust real to me in a way that other books haven't because she is a normal teenage girl in a lot of ways. She's growing up, she dislikes her family and "roommates" one day and adores them the next. She's dreaming about the future, love, a career, and what she really wants out of life. She was funny, she was sad, she was thoughtful, she was growing, she was intelligent, she was scared, and she was BRAVE. I remember feeling all the things she describes. If she was still alive I would like to meet her, she is very empowering. this book taught me to appreciate and be thankful of what i have. RIP Anne
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U go anne forget all them haters the just dont understand its a pwrsonal diary not a novel duu so yall just need to: 1.cry me a river 2.build a bridge 3.get over it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best diaries I have read. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was such a good book that i cried! Why would someebody do that to jews? I dont understand they are like us but just a different religion? Ugh! But you know what i love ann frank she was the bomb even though i never met her. Any ways i am going to give this book a 5 because it deserves one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probaly the best book someone could ever read. Sureyou have Percy Jackson or Harry Potter but this is true. It is very good book. It tals about a jewish girl who is being, like other jews targetted. ( Even though HITLER was jewish ) It shows that she never gave up on anything. She is a true inspiration.
susieyoko More than 1 year ago
Do you remember how much this book affected you when you were 12? Well it still has that power for the current girls too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Something I found very interesting about this book is that it’s not even really a book; it’s the diary of a teenage girl. I really enjoyed being able to be in the mind of a girl who needed to hide out for the longest time in an attic to save her life. You get to learn Anne’s dreams, love, hope, and all from her. You get to see what used to happen back in those times. But this does not have to be a history lesson, readers. This book goes on much more beyond just the history of it. It’s an amazing adventure that you feel as if you get to experience it with her. Although rather marvelous, this book is not for everyone. I will admit myself that I found certain times to be quite boring and rather dull. The book is also very complex, with being from that long ago, and will be challenging for some readers. With that said, I still encourage you to read the book for the enjoyment and the learning that comes with it, and have a fun time reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is only 29 pages long. Do not purchase if you are looking for the full version. We needed the full book but not the definitive version for my kids in school. I purchased his thinking this was the correct version and wasted my money on a 29 page abridgement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book in 3rd grade ( im now in 4th) anyways, this book is truly amazing..... i wouldnt be able to survive 2 years in a small space... but avnyway this is amazinng . You really should read this insteald of those fake Holocaust books. This is the REAL deal people! I love how she expresses her thoughts& feelings.... its a shame she didnt live to see this book rise in fame. Happy reading, Sophia :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this! If you don,t know you anne frank is..., she was a young, jewish girl who lived during the 1930-40s whan Hitler was sending jews to death camps. She went into hiding and the diary is all about that. READ IT!!! It is life-changing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story of hope, humanity, coming of age, and man's inhumanity to man. Read the book, understand that this book was originally written by a young girl making every attempt to grow up, to live, to love, to survive, to not lose faith, to not give up, to not go crazy.... it was written for the first 20 months or so with no intent on ever even letting anyone read the diary. It wasn't until a radio broadcast suggested that letters and diaries should be saved to tell the story of the survivors and those who sadly lost their lives. Anne Frank is one of 1.6 million Jewish children under the age of 16 who died at the hands of the german/Nazi's in an effort to promote ethnic cleansing. The definitive edition adds in pages and passages that a grieving father, with the deaths of his wife and children still quite fresh chose to remove based on the sensibilities and etiquette of the day ( 1940s no cell phones no internet no computers no tvs for the most part, chaperones present, ladies wore skirts or dresses and unmarried women didn't go into boys or mens rooms unchapperoned ...it was a different time). Otto Frank chose to remove the passages that showed his beloved wife in a derogatory manner, as well as , when Anne discusses menses, and her growing love for Peter. He removed the passages where she is discussing the changes to her body as she grows from a child into a young woman. This is by far the most comprehensive and thorough edition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne is a true role model for us. She was a brave young girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was so sad, I read this after reading the play verson with my class, and I have to say that the play left out a lot. Even though there were some parts I really didn't want to hear, I can't hate the book because it's a real girl's diary, that's like a girls inner most private parts. So even though we are invading her privicacy, we are helping her live after death , just like she wanted.
Stockbroker More than 1 year ago
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.
brit_95 More than 1 year ago
NAME OF THE AUTHER: Anne Frank NAME OF THE ILLUSTRATOR: ANNE Frank GENRE: NON-FICTION AGE RANGE: 14 AND OLDER AWARDS: WINNER-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults Anne Frank is often remembered as the little girl who wrote, "I still believe that people are really good at heart." In spite of all her suffering and loss, Anne still has hope and never gives up. She thinks that the people who are doing all the bad stuff, despite everything, are good somewhere inside them. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is an extraordinary autobiography. Anne Frank is a brave heart all the way through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read a book called A Diary of a Young Girl. This was Anne Frank's diary. I loved reading it. I coundn't put the book down. I also couldnt believe that I was reading her words. I felt like I was there with her. Well this book was about her and her family and how they went thoough rough times because they were Jewish. In her diary Anne writes how scared she was they she could be captured.Her mother, father and sister were also scared they could be captured and taken to consontration camps. Anne's mother and father were so scared so they took Anne and her sister to hide out in an old building hoping they wouldn't be found. But, they were. Anne took her diary to the consontration camp with her. Besides her and her family were split up. Anne told story's about the horrible things that happend to the other Jews. This went on for a long time. A few weeks before the camps let out Anne died.Anne's father is the one who published her diary. I really liked this book. If you enjoy reading about other peoples lives than this is the book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, but is sad,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adolf Hitler was a boy growing up in austria arount the early 1900's. As he walked wiyh his mom to places like the market, he noticed ajewish girl and her mom. The mom picked up a tomato, and quickly put it in her purse and went off. Ever since then, adolf hated jews. Then he started giving speeches about the experience that he had senen happen. People became practily hipmatized and started treating inocent jewish people like dirt. He later became very redpected and hinored. I can make a LIFE AS A JEW bio if i get three people to coment on this biol. Please reply to Hailee. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The memoir Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is an interesting and important book that I found very remarkable. Its very informative on how Anne, her family, and friends went into hiding from the Nazi war and how they survived from what little they had. Although they didn’t survive in hiding and got caught and taken to a concentration camp, Anne and her family had hopes and beliefs. Even though they were in a stressful event, they remained calm and focused. I recommend this book because its important to history. However, this book can be long and hard to read. Overall, I believe this book is a good piece of history and worth reading.