Beaulah Pragg's Reviews > Annexed

Annexed by Sharon Dogar
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Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
Read in October, 2010

Annexed is a very personal and compelling re-imagining of the true story written about by Anne Frank. As such, I knew going in that it would be intense, but I have not read Anne Frank's diary, nor any holocaust related fiction (though I have watched Life is Beautiful and Schindler's List. What I found in Annexed was a character who could have been a guy from my school. He was so normal, so convincingly confused and struggling to survive the monotony of being isolated away from nearly certain death. This ability to relate made him real and the horrors he then experienced hit home all the more.

I have read some other reviews asking why Anne Franks story needed any fictionalization when it is already a book children can relate to. I would argue that Annexed, though fictional, is perhaps more accessible by older teens and boys. The sexualisation of Peter has also been criticized by some, who perhaps consider Anne's telling of events sacrosanct, but I think that Sharon Dogar makes it very clear that her version is fictional. She uses footnotes to point out where any fact has been shifted or tweaked to make her story work (which is not often). I appreciated the sexual tension and 'almost but not' romantic sub-plot because they seemed very consistent with what a sixteen-year-old guy would be concerned about in such a situation. It helped ground Peter as a 'normal guy' and therefore make the circumstances he was thrust into so much more relevant to young people in our generation.

Though Annexed is not told in Peter's own words, it is a compassionate and brilliantly woven tale, definitely worthy of a permanent place on my shelf.
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