Cristina's Reviews > Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

Anne Frank by Sid Jacobson
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's review
Jan 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: info-bios, graphic-novel
Read in January, 2012

Text Summary
Beginning with the marriage of Anne Frank’s parents, Edith and Otto Frank, and ending with Otto Frank’s survival and publication of his daughter’s diary, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon depict the life of Anne Frank, the horrific events of the Holocaust, and the legacy that Anne Frank and her family leave behind. As a child, Anne Frank was a charming, smiley, free-spirited girl whose laugh had the ability to bring “sunshine” to those around her. As she grew older, Anne Frank’s passion for life and learning stayed strong even through the difficult economic times brought on by the Depression. Later, the threats that Nazi Germany brought to the Frank family forced them to move to Amsterdam. It was here and on her thirteenth birthday that Anne Frank received her favorite present: a diary. When Margot Frank, Anne’s older sister, received a call-up notice to report for a “work camp” in Germany, the very next day the Frank family went into hiding. It was in her hiding that Anne Frank shared her thoughts and fears of the war, her hopes of peace, and her dreams of one day becoming a famous writer. Anne Frank had no idea that the writings in her diary would one day reach and inspire people all over the world.

Literary Merits
Jacobson and Colon weave a rich narrative with historical details in this graphic biography. The reader can appreciate the care and time that the authors put into not only creating the graphic novel, but also in researching events of the war and Holocaust, and gathering information on the Frank family through the help of many individuals at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The impact of this careful research can be observed through the detailed maps, visuals, and statistics represented in each of the historical “snapshots” that are woven through the text. In the midst of reading the Frank family storyline, these helpful “snapshots” provide the reader with a perspective of the larger historical events taking place in Nazi Germany. By inviting the reader to examine the Holocaust through both broad and narrow lenses, the authors give the reader an opportunity to gain a deeper and more holistic understanding of this tragedy.

Classroom Recommendations
This text can appeal to both teenagers (13 and up) as well as an adult audience. High school students learning about the complexities of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust may find this graphic biography to be a helpful supplemental text. English and History classrooms may find the best use of this text. In an English classroom, I can see this text being paired with some excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary. Students may analyze and discuss themes of empathy, family and community relationships, discrimination, hatred, violence, etc... the list goes on. Students can also analyze Anne Frank’s writing and apply some of her techniques in their own, possibly through writing a memoir. Jacobson and Colon’s graphic biography includes several quotes from Frank’s diary, portraying her writing abilities: “I feel like a songbird whose wings have been ripped off, hurling itself against the bars of its dark cage” (102).
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message 1: by Marie (new)

Marie I did not realize that the diary of Anne Frank was remade into a graphic novel format. What a great way to attract students using a more modern format. Have you used this with your students in high school? It would be interesting to compare and contrast the graphic novel with the more traditional format.

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