Alana's Reviews > The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
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Sep 18, 2015

did not like it
bookshelves: school-related, pop-culture-sell-outage, classics, childhood-memories, to-read
Read in January, 2005 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** I realize that this book is supposed to be about the true suffering that took place during the Holocaust, but give me a break. The Franks and the others in the Annex were practically living in luxury! All Anne did was complain. Yes, I get that many of your privileges were taken away, and essentially your freedom to roam. But you are alive! Doesn't that account for anything? On another note, maybe this is because I hang out with guys for the most part, but the way she talked about other girls really freaked me out. Perhaps that is WHY I don't hang out with girls is because I'd start ogling them while they slept too! AH! Plus, did anyone also find it strange that Peter was always in his room, alone, for hours, playing with his cat? Yeah. That's all I have to say.

All in all, Anne: shut up. You whine too much and, really, too much information.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)

message 1: by booklady (new)

booklady I'm not sure this book is supposed to be about "true suffering" so much as what it is called, "The Diary of a Young Girl". She is young. She isn't old enough to have perspective on life and yet her life is almost over. We know that; she doesn't. The poignancy in the book comes from our outsider's perspective of knowing the outcome of the situation which Anne doesn't know or appreciate yet. What 14 year old girl raised in a loving home where she has always been surrounded by caring people can understand what is going on much less what is about to happen to her? I doubt I couldn't have at her age, but I thank God every day I never had to find out.

Alana Wow. I never thought of it that way. When they teach this book in eighth grade English, they try to canonize Anne and make her seem so wise beyond her years, that everyone else is the sucker for worrying about the outside world when they have a perfectly fine lot in life in comparison. Perhaps this is where my loathing for this book stems. Of course, the laughable (seriously- they played it for laughs) school production later in the spring only proved to deepen my dislike.

But, at the same time, I look at myself when I first read this book. Fifth grader, the product of a broken home, and an avid history buff. I knew the ending- who doesn't when they begin this book- and I knew the historical context probably better than my eighth grade English teacher, who was a self-professed hater of history (and, really, how does that even work?). Maybe it was the fact that, even at that young of an age, I disdained her extreme self-possession (granted, a trait I would later become acquainted with in my teenage years), especially when she was very well-informed of the world she lived in. Maybe it was jealousy of her family who were bound together, even in the midst of chaos and the teenage hormones of her and Margot (who I would have loved to have had as a sister). Maybe it was frustration that she couldn't recognize how lucky she really was. Perhaps, it could have just been that I wasn't ready for it.

Through all of this, though, I've come to appreciate the amazing aspects of the situation, admire the bravery of the adults, and adore her father all the more for his attempt at editing to protect the daughter he loved, while still recognizing the importance of such a comprehensive first-hand account. As you said, the poignancy comes from knowing the outcome, from trying to find ourselves if we were in such a sad situation at her young age. I can't say that maturity or experience will change my harden opinion. I will, however, dig out my copy and give it a second chance with your perspective in mind. Thank you.

message 3: by booklady (new)

booklady Hmmmm... Teachers (and parents!) need to be the most sensitive of people. Sadly they often aren't. I'm sorry you had such a poor intro to the book, not to mention other things. Children deserve only the best from those entrusted with their care. That they don't get it reminds me of Jesus' admonition, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

Actually I think I had no "intro" to the book but read it cold—as just another book—when I was a teen. I identified with Anne's frustration at being a prisoner of her circumstances, without thought to what the final outcome would be. She didn't seem whiny to me because it was her diary and that's what diary's are for—to confess one's secret frustrations to—to admit those feelings and thoughts you’d never say out loud for fear people would laugh or say they are foolish or unimportant or … yes, even whiny. (Who doesn’t need to whine from time to time? Especially if you are cooped up in a closet-like hideout with a bunch of strangers? How many teens do you know who endure that for years without complaining/whining?)

When I discovered what Anne’s final fate was, I was deeply affected. Since then, I’ve reread "The Diary of a Young Girl" as an adult. Now as a mother of daughters I find it especially bittersweet because—as you pointed out—it is a gift from her father who survived the Holocaust. He had to read his daughter’s diary at least once, but probably many times, as he was editing it. I can’t imagine his feelings but I’m grateful for the gift. He exposed his heart, his family and their story as a witness to what we as a world lost: a generation of young people. Anne should have been going to school, or thinking about marriage and her future. That’s not to say we don’t have atrocities today where young people are abused in other horrible ways. We do and they are. Our crimes today against children and young people are no less wrong or evil. Those stories also need to be told. But we should still recall and study what happened in the past. Anne’s story helps us remember.

message 4: by booklady (new)

booklady Hello Nina,

The longer I live, the less inclined I am to use the words 'never' and 'always'. Although physical suffering is indeed terrible, it is not the worst evil in the world. Closed minds and hearts are the most dangerous. Many have suffered worse than what Anne and her family endured. It isn't what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us that matters. One of the reasons most of us read and share here on goodreads is because we want to understand. Although we cannot step into another person's skin—or walk in his/her moccasins as the saying goes—it is in the desire to do so that we take the first step in trying to understand. Seeking to really learn someone’s story and thus establish such a bond of kinship with another human being is one of the greatest compliments we can ever pay someone.

message 5: by booklady (new)

booklady Dear Nina,

I'm sorry. Did it sound like I was judging you in my comment? If so, I apologize! I did not mean to! I was referring to the attitude which led to the extermination of 6 million Jewish people! That kind of close-minded hatred/bigotry frightens me more than anything. I do understand about identifying with Anne. As for the judging ... (sigh) well if you figure out how to live without doing that, let me know. The best I've been able to do in coming to grips with my brothers' and sisters' behaviors is compassion, reason and prayer, lots and lots of prayer. Mostly I'm grateful I'm not God. It's hard enough being responsible for my own soul.

Brenna How can you say "You whine too much" and "Too much information" when it's her diary! You are criticizing her writing as if she knew she was someday going to have this book published for the whole world to see. I respect the fact that you did not like this book, since everyone responds differently and has their own tastes, but to bash a girl who suffered through a holocaust, just... wow.

message 7: by Tiffany (last edited May 12, 2012 04:21PM) (new)

Tiffany Brenna wrote: "How can you say "You whine too much" and "Too much information" when it's her diary! You are criticizing her writing as if she knew she was someday going to have this book published for the whole w..."

Well actually she was in the process of revising it in hopes of having it published as an account after the war.

@ Alana.
Anne was a teenager at the time. It doesn't matter what year it is, teenage angst is timeless. She was locked up in a attic with that same people not able to go outside or do what you used to. Yes, it was better than being sent to a camp, but even as an adult how could you truely comprehend the catastrophe until you are there living it yourself? She couldn't.

Yet to say people canonize her and made her seem wise beyond her years is not I feel, is not a true asessment. I've read other biographies of Anne's life-not just her diary. Anne was a very popular girl while attending school. She was know for being chatty, funny and carefree. So many of the girls wanted to be her friend and many of the boys had crushes on her. This was a cover up. She wanted someone she could have deep conversations with, confide in and share her dreams. All the "whining" her diary was an outlet for her typical teen feelings. Like any other teen even back then she felt her parents didn't understand or saw her as just a silly girl.

She stated she regretted not being able to open up to many of her friends and other peers and so many of them saw her as a simply a jokester.

Also, I don't understand why so many freak out like "OMG Anne was a lezbo or something." She was going through puberty, discovering her sexuality and who she was as a person. It's the exact same as many teens today who go through a bi-curious phase.

Tara Living in luxury? Yeah, they had it SO well off in a tiny attic, hidden from a world that wanted them dead. Really...

the sound of Autumn You're saying that she whines too much, when she was in miserable conditions with nobody her own age to talk to. Hell, if any modern-day teenager had to go through the same thing, it'd be a freaking mess.

It also angers me when people go off on Anne for putting thoughts about her sexuality into her own diary. She's a teenager, and I'm sure that she didn't have much education on such topics, being she was so young when she was taken out of school. Many people explore their curiousity, and I think it's stupid to be judgemental and homophobic about it.

Susan Flythe But you are alive! Doesn't that account for anything?

Yes, but not for long and then no more "lap of luxury". I want you around when I'm on my deathbed with your caring ways.

Karishma Geez.. she wrote all her whinings & complains in her PERSONAL DIARY!! i bet dat everyone has got even more boring n worse incidents packed away in their own diaries.

U can condemn the book on d whole if u ur taste does not match the book's theme.

bit if entertainment's ur thing, i think u should stick to fiction OR non-fictional biographies that are specifically written for a mass audience.

Hannah She has to vent somewhere, right? Just like girls I know that broke up with their boyfriends, they go and post how upset they are all over Facebook. But she couldn't exactly tell her feelings to the others, that would just make her situation worse.

Malissa Bishop so have you ever been confined to a place not being able to leave for years? if you have then you have the right to complain about her complaints. she lived in a scary time in which you could never imagaine

message 14: by Lola (new) - added it

Lola The Musical Muse I haven't read the book, but all I can say is this. She's a girl, yes, but everyone complains sometime in their life. You can't honestly say you've never complained out loud. Also she was like 13. Those years just so happen to be the years where young ones ask questions and complain after over thinking for a while. Another reason is that it is A DIARY. Honestly, diaries are MADE for complaining. When you're having a hard day and don't want to speak about it, what do you do? You write it in your DIARY. When there's so much to say, but no one to say it to, you write it in your DIARY. I hope you get where I'm going with this because I'm not going on. I highly doubt many preteens with 8 other people living in their house during a big war wouldn't complain about anything at all. The only times no one complains are when everything is perfect. And nothing's perfect. Ever.

message 15: by Aish (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aish Do not look at the essentials. Anne Frank along with, give or take, six million Jewish people had their identities taken away. They did not have their freedoms and whatever rights they hid in the cracks of their skin. If you look at the history of people of Jewish religion, you will notice that everyone kicked them out. The world generally does not like to have Jews living with them, in general. This Holocaust was just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that she's alive does not account for anything. I am glad you are an optimist but that means I am putting a label on you like Heinrich Himmler and the Gestapo. I wasn't alive during the time period 1939-1945 so I cannot assume the characteristics of living conditions or common hopes and aspirations people had back then. However, I do know that it was a simpler time with simpler pleasures for the rest of the world. At the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles demanded Germany to pay a "war debt". The Germans agreed and started printing out more money causing inflation. Their economy suffered but by the time Hitler became chancellor in 1933, the economy was slowly getting better. When I take into accord the economy status, I believe everyone had similar aspirations to what you and I have now: live a good life. But when you are stuck in a wall, caged like an animal by no captor but your self awareness, you cannot hope for the best. I have personally experienced these feelings but not the extreme Anne Frank did. Living is never enough because it gets vapid. Anne Frank looks at other girls because they are the only thing different she can see. Peter plays with the cat because it is a pet-owner relationship.

Instead of worrying about the people in this book, why don't you think about the failure of the British, French, and American to stop Hitler?

Irene Alana - are you sure you actually READ the book?? They lived in silence for much of the time. In today's world not many teens could survive that - let alone the lack of food, bathroom facilities, and being couped up with one's family ALL THE TIME - They were captured and sent to die in horrible, filthy conditions in a concentration camp. I'd say her privileges were taken away - her privilege to LIVE.

Brian Kotler The fact that you even have the opportunity to access this book and the Internet to post this review disgusts me. How can you so easily say that she "lived in luxury". I've been to the Annex and there is nothing luxurious about it. It is a trapped sensation with the feel of being in a dusty, dimly lit attic even during a 15 minute walk through, let alone 2 years.

Add never getting fresh air, not leaving this place filled with way too many people for its size for even one second of her life and you have the nerve to say these things?!?!?

I wish you to spend one week in this place with her luxurious amenities. Forget the fact that you're living in constant fear of your life. Throw away your phone, your friends, your computer, and the feeling of a gentle breeze or sunshine on your skin. Then write your review!

message 18: by Daniel J. (new)

Daniel J. Nickolas You knew she died and still told her to shut up?

Caleb Uhl I kind of agree. She was really whiny. While other people were getting slaughtered, she whined about being cooped up with mildly annoying people. I couldn't even finish the book.

message 20: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma really whiney? I thought considering her circumstances she didn't whine enough. She is all of 13 when she starts writing her diary I couldnt imagine at 13 only being able to breathe fresh air through a crack in a window. She said many times how lucky she thought she was and to me she was anything but.

message 21: by Shane (new)

Shane R. Wow, this is as doltish as anyone who spews drivel like "there are starving children in so-and-so, eat your food!"

It's a transparent statement.

message 22: by Shane (last edited Jul 27, 2013 03:42AM) (new)

Shane R. Odinia wrote: "Actually it is a fraud. The girl who supposedly wrote it actually died of typhus & it is written in ball point pen, which had not been invented yet."

You have got to be kidding, Odinia. Do you think after all the time and resources required to fake such a piece of work, someone would make an error so devastating, yet easy to correct? Besides, ballpoint pens have been around since before 1890. I found that out by simply using Google, something which seems beyond your capacity and faculties.

And as a note, she didn't use a ballpoint pen. As this nonsense has been in circulation amongst the naive for some time, the Anne Frank Trust released a document pertaining to the diaries authenticity:

"No, that is not correct. All the diary entries are written in various types of ink and
(coloured) pencil, not in ballpoint. The document analysis by the Netherlands
Forensic Institute showed that the main part of the diary and the loose sheets
were written in grey-blue fountain pen ink. In addition, Anne also used thin red
ink, green and red coloured pencils and black pencil for her annotations: not
ballpoint. Nevertheless, the allegation can still regularly be seen on extreme
right-wing websites and elsewhere that the diary of Anne Frank is written in
ballpoint pen. Sneering remarks are made about "A. Frank the ballpoint girl," and
it is pointed out that the ballpoint pen only came into common use in Europe after
the Second World War. The conclusion forced by this allegation is that the texts
in the diary could not have been written by Anne Frank herself.

Annotation sheets

The origin of the "ballpoint myth" is the four-page report that the Federal Criminal
Police Office (the Bundeskriminalamt or BKA) in Wiesbaden, which was
published in 1980. In this investigation into the types of paper and ink used in the
diary of Anne Frank it is stated that "ballpoint corrections" had been made on
some loose sheets. The BKA’s task was to report on all the texts found among
the diaries of Anne Frank, and therefore also on the annotations that were made
in Anne’s manuscripts after the war. However, the Dutch investigation by the
Forensic Institute in the mid-1980’s shows that writing in ballpoint is only found
on two loose pages of annotations, and that these annotations are of no
significance for the actual content of the diary. They were clearly placed between
the other pages later.

The researchers of the Forensic Institute also concluded that the handwriting on these two annotation sheets differs from the writing in the diary "to a far-reaching degree." Photos of these loose annotation sheets are
included in the NIOD’s publication (see The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition, 2003, pages 168 and 170). In 1987, a Mr Ockelmann from Hamburg wrote that his mother had written the annotation sheets in question. Mrs Ockelmann was a member of the team that carried out the graphological
investigation into the writings of Anne Frank around 1960."

message 23: by booklady (new)

booklady Thanks Shane! Good info!

message 24: by Juan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Juan Batlle I couldn't help but laugh at this review. You write as if Anne just wrote a book, shipped it to publishers, and got it published. She DIED as a result of the Holocaust. These aren't the ramblings of some girl but are a young girl's diary that happened to be published. Wow, what an ill-informed review. But it was quite funny, I must admit.

message 25: by Liz (new) - added it

Liz I'm sorry but she WHINED too much? Are you serious? Maybe she should have pontificated on how blissfully wonderful it was having to hide from people trying to murder her and her family for being Jewish. That would totally make more sense. How dare she whine as a locked up teenager fearing for her life? THE NERVE!

Safa She whined too much? Do you think this book is a work of fiction? She lived during the holocaust. She had to stay hidden and not go outside for TWO YEARS! I'd be whining too. Show some respect.

message 27: by Sylvia (new) - added it

Sylvia I know it's easy to say now "at least you were alive!" "Stop complaining." But she was indeed a 13/14 year old girl, so it's not very uncommon to hear a lot of complaining about anything really. Also the only reason Peter stayed in his room for the majority of the time just sitting there playing with his cat was because he had nothing else better to do, (he was stuck in an attic after all ) he also didn't have many people to talk to or someone that he was completely comfortable with. And as for the "too much information" statement, this was a diary... A14 year old girls diary to add to that, it was never meant to be published, it just was for her to write, to get her feelings out, and pass the time. No offense but this review seems to be very childish..

Kathy U have too understand that when Anne wrote her diary she used it express her feelings and emotions during a terrible time and that she was 14!!!!!!
She never knew the diary would be published - anyway if you hated the book so much why did u bother reading it u silly cow!!!!

Kaylee Hoko This young girl and her family were hiding out so they wouldn't be caught and taken away to a camp. She was not whining. She was expressing her feelings in a personal diary. It would be quite hard to live in a small attic with 8 other people and always having to take caution and never going outside for 2 years.

message 30: by Cem SEVIMLI (new) - added it

Cem SEVIMLI Please try and read the book again. this time with your eyes pls.

Rachel It's a diary. So many people for get this. It's her right to complain and whine. It's her journal!

Besides, if you were forced into hiding for something you couldn't control by your government, you had precious things taken from you and always had to live in fear of being found; wouldn't you moan and groan just a little bit?

kisha This review was pure ignorance at it's worse. I can appreciate you not finding interest. Everything isn't for everyone. But until you spend years secluded to one room, never again feeling fresh air, walking to a store or friends, never being able to communicate with your closest friends, you shouldn't call anyone whiny. This was her life for what ended up being the rest of her life. I truly hope you are just extremely young.

message 33: by blereader (new) - added it

blereader I completely agree; English classes can ruin a book. For me it was The Great Gatsby and the Scarlet Letter. I cannot read them without thinking of my awful high school classes, and so it may be years before I pick them up again.
I did at least want to comment on the "luxury" aspect--after reading about other accounts of the holocaust, it does seem amazing that they had so much space and freedom to move around. But had she been in a worse place--underneath trash, in a small attic without food, etc., she would not have been able to write anything. It's bizarre the circumstances that even allowed her diaries to exist, that she even had the space to breathe and the relative privacy to collect her thoughts.
Remembering Anne Frank is a good reminder of the many young girls around the world who are living through wars and nightmares, making sense of their identity and future while surrounded by insensible cruelty. I would that all young girls in such circumstances had the ability to share their thoughts. A diary that doesn't judge and doesn't call you names can be a best friend, even in the worst of circumstances.

message 34: by Emma (new)

Emma Ward It's a diary. Of course there is going to be complaints of some sort!

ronnie gott I am a 67 year old Jewish lady who read this book at Anne's age. I still cannot believe that with all the death, hate religious, political and racial injustices we are witnessing now and have witnessed through out our lives and so much further beyond. The importance of a young girl living a life filled with fear, uncertainty of a life beyond tomorrow, had the nerve to whine, privately,/ be distressed and yet still be a lovely young, cultured educated teenager, unlike the unread, sexualized Half- dressed girls of today, who believe rap is really art. That it will be the anthem of this age. Thank God I had the Beatles, The Stones, . The Who. Billy Joel. Carole King, Motown, the Giants that are still relevant, never more so because nothing better has surpassed this melodic telephony of my life. At. Least she could read, write, in pen or crayons or what does it matter.? She was a child- woman who probably never expected to have her work read or shared, nor did it look like there would be another day. Not for her and not for 6 million more and the millions more who perish because they were born and raised who and what they were and are.As we watch the marked influx of anti-feminism around the world, and as we are aware of the boogeyman Islam. As we watch Christian people being annihilated Isis. Let us not forget what most of are teens are worried about"Doesn't. It seem like that genius Kanye West needs to stop jumping on stage wanting Beyonce' should have won best Video,? and why can't he let Jay -z defend h

ronnie gott Sorry screwed up. Why can't his bro Jay-Z defend his own woman. Let Mange worry about his own no talent woman? You know the billionaire booty-delicious Kim?

ronnie gott Thanks once again for changing my words he statement was influx of anti- Semitism not anti- feminism. But that is correct as well. Ask those lovely saleswoman who must hide under a blanket from head to toe in the heat of the desert and even in Nevada While those great guys get to wear shorts and a tee shirt?

message 38: by Joan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joan "practically living in luxury". Luxury that include fear on a level you have never known, near starvation, and eventual death. Yup, that is the definition of luxury all right. Oh, that is sarcasm in case you cannot tell.

message 39: by Nico (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nico Lenz She was gratefull and hardly copmplained! If she complained at all it was about the others... Try living with 7 ppl hiding in a house for 3 years yourself

MsEleanorMae ... I sometimes read reviews and think some reviewers will look back at their past musings and cringe.

kathleen martin raes You think she doent have a right to whine as you put it I call it vent.while you were sitting enjoying the fact that you were free your life not in danger she was in constant dare anyone criticize her or any ofthe Poor Jewish people who went through this WHAT'S a matterith you? Were talking gas chambers here.. how dare you make light? How dare you find fault?I.wonder how brave youd be ? Your audacity srikes me to no end I can only find one dedscription for you a damn fool.

message 42: by Diane (new)

Diane Alana, you should be the one to, as you so put it, 'shut up'

Emeraldawn Spoiler - she died. Everyone in that attack died, but her father. So your whole "but your alive" comment really counts for nothing. Read some history, then you might understand the words of a girl growing up hidden away from people trying to kill her for just being born.

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Anne Frank died at the age of 15, so YOU should shut up!!

Laura Alana, I don't agree with you, but your entitled to your opinion. To begin, Anne Frank did not "whine too much." Her family had to go into hiding because they were Jews during the Holocaust. This was a drastic change in Anne's life because she couldn't go to school, she couldn't go outside, and they constantly had fear of being caught by the Nazis. If you were in Anne's situation, you would be pretty miserable too. Also, Anne was a teenager. She kept a diary to write down her thoughts and feelings, and that is what a diary is for. She went through a lot of emotional and physical changes, which is very awkward and difficult for teenagers. And you think they "were living in luxury?" How can you say that? Yeah, they were living in luxury alright! Living in a secret annex and having to hear the bombs go off at night is a terrifying experience. Anne was so scared of the bombs she heard at night that she had to stay in her father's room. I'm not mad at you, everyone has different opinions, but I wish you would emphasize more on Anne's situation.

Laura Alana, I don't agree with you, but your entitled to your opinion. To begin, Anne Frank did not "whine too much." Her family had to go into hiding because they were Jews during the Holocaust. This was a drastic change in Anne's life because she couldn't go to school, she couldn't go outside, and they constantly had fear of being caught by the Nazis. If you were in Anne's situation, you would be pretty miserable too. Also, Anne was a teenager. She kept a diary to write down her thoughts and feelings, and that is what a diary is for. She went through a lot of emotional and physical changes, which is very awkward and difficult for teenagers. And you think they "were living in luxury?" How can you say that? Yeah, they were living in luxury alright! Living in a secret annex and having to hear the bombs go off at night is a terrifying experience. Anne was so scared of the bombs she heard at night that she had to stay in her father's room. I'm not mad at you, everyone has different opinions, but I wish you would emphasize more on Anne's situation.

Laura Anne was very bright.

Laura Do you think it was easy for Anne Frank to put up with hiding for two years? And they hardly even got food, for God's sake. It is unfortunate that Anne had to die so young.

message 49: by Lina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lina G. It's a diary, what can you expect?Diaries are a place for whining and honestly, i found her complaints interesting and gave an insight into the thoughts of one young girl. That is interesting even if she was never in hiding. to me and millions of others anyway


I'm sure this is very easy for you to say this from you're comfortable sofa in a comfortable house with a roof over your head. The girl was 14, for crying out loud. Sure, she had a better time than the poor people thrown into concentration camps, but she LIVED IN FEAR. I'd like to see you try not to complain when locked in a small room, unable to go outside, for 3 years.

Your naive and immature review completely proves how easy it is to forget about the past when you have clearly never experienced suffering on the same level as those before you.

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