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The Diary of a Young Girl
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Archive YA/Children Group Read > 2016 YA Book of the Month ツ The Diary of Anne Frank ~ October 2016 → November 2016

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6281 comments Mod
Autobiography : diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne's father, Otto Frank, the family's only known survivor just after the war was over. The diary has since been published in more than 60 languages.


Robin (tijgerlil) Hi all!
Welcome to the reading of Diary of a Young Girl, or "Het Achterhuis".

I will be your moderator for this rather incredible story! Please remember all that there are three versions of this diary. So you may have a slightly different edit than other participants and thus a different view.
This is only a good thing when it comes to discussions!

I am not so far into myself but am amazed at the positive attitude that she seems to have had! Can't wait to hear what everyone thinks!!


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Oct 24, 2016 10:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I finally have my book from the library and plan to start reading it soon. The last time I read it, I was in high school. Since then I have been in Amsterdam and it will be easier to visualize what she is describing.


Kimidarksecrets (hermoinegra) I like that book


She who must not be named (she_who_must_not_be_named) | 11 comments I really love this book. Anne has captured her thoughts in her diary in the most beautiful manner.
I'm curious though. What are the differences in the 3 versions?


Kimidarksecrets (hermoinegra) I do not know sorry :(


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I think all three versions have much of the same material, but some have new additions to the original version that I read as a teenager. Some of the additions were found years after publication of the original version.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
Anne talks so matter-of- factly about having to wear the yellow star and not being able to take the tram. I can relate to how much she misses her pet, and also the fact that her family could be irritating at times. It is a long time since I was fourteen, but I still remember how my parents could drive me crazy sometimes.

On a serious note, as I read this diary I feel such a sadness, knowing how it all ends for her.


Robin (tijgerlil) To clarify about the versions: Version A was the initial edit that her father did upon deciding to publish the journal. He omitted several unflattering depictions of people in the house, including her mother. He felt it did not do to speak ill of the dead. Also, he excluded any talk of a sexual nature.
Version B as I understand it, was when new material was found, translated and included.
I believe Version C is the ultimate version with sections of both A & B combined to create the best overview of Anne's story.

I think I've got that right anyway.

I'm finding this very hard to read from a position of knowing that somehow we have not learnt anything from Anne's story and her ultimate fate. I watch the news about Syria and the horrors there and wonder if we will have a diary published of one of those unfortunate children, with future readers wondering how humanity let such things happen.

One final interesting comment is that I took a look at many of the "negative" Goodreads comments and found it interesting how many students who were required to read this found it dull. It is unfortunate that many seem to miss the entire point of this story. It is not a war novel with action sequences but the story of a prisoner and her fellow captives. How they learned to live, to survive. It is so much more nuanced, and I'm curious what other, younger, readers may comment on this....


message 10: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Oct 25, 2016 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
The foreword to the copy of the version I am reading says the same as your explanation, Robin.


message 11: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 537 comments Mod
There's other Diary from war zone, Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo, I have not read it yet but I would. I don't know how good it is so if someone here have read it, please give your opinion.


message 12: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 537 comments Mod
Other one, Zlata Filipović edited Stolen Voices: Young People's War Diaries, from World War I to Iraq. I don't read it too but added it to my to-read shelf.


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Oct 25, 2016 02:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I have read Zlata's Diary and enjoyed it. Another excellent book is The Journal of Hélène Berr, which takes place in France.


message 14: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 537 comments Mod
Added it too.


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
Anne and her family have been in hiding for a while and get their last companion in hiding, Albert Dussel. In the entry for November 17, 1942, Anne quotes from the Prospectus and Guide to the Secret Annex. I am impressed with Miep's work, openness and sense of humor. What she is doing is incredibly dangerous.
I admire their courage in the face of such a horrible situation.


message 16: by Janet (new)

Janet Milligan I read this back in the 70s when I was at school, both in English and German. I certainly found it interesting and moving, to some extent. I think that reading it again now, it would have more meaning for me in some ways,( though maybe back in the day I related to Anne as I was a teen myself?)
I don't think I can read it at the moment as it would upset me. :(
I'm reading Conrad's Heart of Darkness, not a particularly easy read but fairly interesting so far.


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
After a year in hiding, tempers are starting to fray, but generally everyone is still getting along fine. As the youngest, Anne has everyone else criticizing her and comparing her to her perfect sister Margot. So even in the midst of war, teenage feelings and moods are still there. From her entries, we really get an idea what it was like to be there.


Robin (tijgerlil) I'm finding the notes that Anne has gone back and added to be very interesting as well. It shows what a difference 13 to 15 makes in a teenager.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I have read to the end of 1943 and they have been in hiding for more than a year. Anne states that she misses fresh air. I like fresh air too, so I really sympathize with her. It also too bad that her mother really doesn't understand her.


Robin (tijgerlil) All the parents stuff is so recognisable among the unimaginable horrors of being scared of discovery. I think that is why this diary is recommended to students, but I think it's not until we are adults that we can look at her teenage issues alongside the horrors of the war.

I'd like to teach this book to kids and not make them write book reports but ask what about Anne they recognise in themselves.

Her talking about her depression is also very interesting as that is still a topic not often spoken about among young people even now.


message 21: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I am impressed by Anne's insight at times. She is the youngest, so no one takes her seriously, but she makes some wise statements. For example, her comment on the bravery of those who are helping and hiding the Jews. She also appreciates how hard Miep and Bep work to help those in the Annex.


message 22: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
I am nearing the end of the book, when Anne is talking about her plans for after the war. She is such a marvellous writer, you can really feel what it was like there, especially in the final few months of her diary.


Robin (tijgerlil) I have just reached the 5th of May 1944. In the present day, the 5th of May is known as Bevriijdingsdag or Liberation Day. It makes me so sad to think she didn't live to see it named such. She had many of the same interests I pursue today and I can only hope to be as amazing a writer as she was.

"I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled years ago! There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill.And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again."

With the US elections days away, I wish we could broadcast these words to the voters. Anne Frank was wise beyond her years and would have made an incredible woman and a much needed addition to our society.


message 24: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
Robin, I agree with your assessment. I could see the progress Anne made in the time she was in the Annex- from a typical pre- teen to a thoughtful young woman.
I am sure that she was an inspiration to those in the camp, but we will never know.
So many lives have been lost over the years in all countries. In Canada we celebrate Remembrance Day and wear poppies to remind us of the lives lost in wars with the motto "Lest we forget."


Robin (tijgerlil) That's me finished the book. I will post my review I wrote of it here. Some of it I have made mention of before.....

Going in to reading this I checked, as I normally do, the reviews on Goodreads. Many were young people who had been required to read the book as part of their education. Many didn't like it. Of course I knew the story of Anne Frank. Having lived in the Netherlands for 11 years and done by high school there, we did an inordinate amount of study on WWII.

I will admit that young Anne, at the beginning of her diary is very much as I imagine we all were at 12-13 years old. I can also imagine that is why many young people do not like the book as it holds a mirror up to their own behaviours.

Very quickly however she shows herself to be an incredibly intelligent and thoughtful young woman. Reading this today, in this day and age was very disheartening as I look at the world around me and realise that Anne may have died in vain. So much of what was happening then is happening now. We've just changed the minority to hate on.

I could probably have finished this book a few days ago but as I reached what I knew to be the end of the diary and thus the lives of most of those living in the Annexe, I started to slow my reading. It was like holding an hourglass and every page meant another grain of sand falling to signal their inevitable doom. I felt like finishing the book, I had somehow brought about the end.

All in all, this book shows me that Anne would have been a formidable woman had she survived the war. We could have used her then and as far as I am concerned, we could have used someone like her now.


message 26: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
That is all so true, Robin.


Jenny Macaluso who is currently reading?


message 28: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8918 comments Mod
Jenny, we are reading Anne Frank's Diary right now and the thread will be open for comments even after we start our next book.
I found reading the book a very moving experience, thinking about the waste of so many lives and the evils of war and persecution. It is a book that should not be forgotten.


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