Thursday, January 12, 2012


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The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, Doubleday & Company, 1952, 283 pp

I don't remember when I first read this or how many time I have read it before--at least two times I think. I probably first read it as a young teen, when it was a shocking book for me. I'm quite sure it was the first book I read about the holocaust.

It held up this time as a good and interesting read. There seems to be a backlash against holocaust lit these days, but to me that is one of those whole earth events, so huge and horrid, that the stories must be told over and over.

I hadn't remembered how much it is a coming of age tale or how much Anne Frank captured the emotional and intellectual development of a teenage girl. Also, even though the circumstances are so different, having recently read I Capture the Castle, also written in diary form, I couldn't help but compare them.

When I first read Anne Frank's diary, I was mostly interested in her developing relationship with Peter. This time I was fascinated by her fractious interactions with her mother, her growth from Daddy's girl into aware young woman, and her attempts at being a writer. Had she survived, she would have been a literary force I am sure. Because she did not survive and because her obviously admirable father got the book published, she became immortal.

I remember the movie "Freedom Writers" from 2007. Hilary Swank plays a new teacher in a gang-ridden school who gets to the kids by having them read Anne Frank, then getting them to write their own diaries. I need to watch that again.

(The Diary of a Young Girl is available in paperback on the shelf or by order at Once Upon A Time Bookstore. To find it in your nearest indie store click on the cover image above.)

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