Jewish Values: Anne Frank

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32 p.
Most illustrated books with Holocaust settings are for older children but this one serves as both an introduction to Anne Frank and to the cataclysmic times in which she lived. The experiences of the Frank family are placed in historical context, from their move to Holland, their exclusion from normal life, their hiding in the secret annex, their betrayal, and the death of all of the family but Otto Frank, whose survival resulted in Anne’s diary becoming known to the world. Poole’s crystal clear narrative distills Anne’s short life through the prism of her emotions - fear, boredom, family squabbles, her growing love for Peter, and the outlet of writing to “Dear Kitty.” Barrett’s elegant illustrations are an essential part of the story that is told because they place the Frank’s and their confined existence within expressively rendered scenes of both historic and domestic significance. The last double page spread shows Miep handing Otto Frank Anne’s diary, accompanied by the final words of the text: “Anne Frank was no more than a girl, and her short life had come to an end. But her story was just beginning.” An endnote describes the publication of the diary and gives a detailed chronology. Highly recommended.
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Sydney Taylor Winner: