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Search tags: the-diary-of-a-young-girl-the-definitive-edition
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review 2018-03-02 04:48
The Diary of A Young Girl is exactly that and much more
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition - Mirjam Pressler,Susan Massotty,Otto Frank,Anne Frank

I reread this for the Catch-up Book Club on Goodreads, and I'm glad I did. The last time I read Anne's diary I was younger than she was while writing it, and again, I'm annoyed at myself for being such a dumb kid. Also, it's changed since my initial read. There's more and we get more background in the newest editions.

I hate using stars to "rate" a journal that itself says how boring, juvenile, tawdry, silly and personal it is repeatedly, but I'm going to if only to keep the rating I gave it earlier and reinforce it.

As an older reader I felt for Anne's parents early in the book. She is oblivious to the many goings-on in preparation to go into hiding. She's living a child's life with her new birthday diary, while her parents have moved the family more than once to avoid Hitler only to get stuck in Holland. Nonetheless, they prepare for hiding by taking things piece by piece to the annex and preparing as much as possible before being forced to flee. I was impressed by her father Otto's ability to allow her as much carefree childhood as he could during what must have been incredibly terrifying days.

Anne's earliest entries show she's a child with a keen understanding that many people only show masks to the rest of us. This observation repeats itself through the journal, and her torment with others being less genuine than she would like is, in itself, heart wrenching. An historical document, a life in hiding with its mundanity and extraordinary qualities equally prevalent, this diary shows both extreme fear and incredible boredom. She goes from child to philosopher repeatedly.

Interested in a huge variety of things, Anne keeps herself busy writing not just in her diary but also short stories, genealogical studies, poetry, etc. She's got thoughts and ideals on feminism, love, God, war and peace, the culpability of regular people, families, self, discrimination, motherhood, pain, poverty, medical science, finance, the war machine, religion... This is not an idle idiot scrawling nonsense. She is very capable of growth, and we see it within the diary. She allows for her own earlier "childish" writing, yet leaves it included with some additional notes. While she was supposedly editing this for after the war, she remarks more than once that this diary is just for her, that it surely won't be worthwhile to anyone else ever. How wrong you were, Anne Frank.

Anne practices multiple languages, learns history and other subjects, reads voraciously and really only stops in to write in her diary occasionally once she and her family are in hiding. She also stays abreast of her schoolwork, always planning and even trying to expect freedom just around the corner. She's up on the war, keeps an eye on the Allied Forces and fully expects them to succeed. She knows she's being optimistic. She says she's doing it purposely. She watches the squabbles around her, getting annoyed at other people's annoyance, and only occasionally allows herself to wish for things she can't have. Instead, she simply plans for "after" the war.

One moment really stood out to me. While discussing the war, Anne notes that despite nationality, she believes that after the war "We can never be just Dutch or just English or whatever, we will be Jews as well." This is, to me, a remarkable statement. While Zionism had already begun, it becomes very clear that Anne - isolated and sheltered from the worst thus far - has figured out something absolutely vital about the world post WWII and about identity when someone is part of a marginalized group in a larger society. Much earlier she had started wrestling between her German identity and her Jewish identity and she will begin to include her Dutch identity too.

The Diary of A Young Girl is exactly that and so much more.

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review 2016-06-10 00:00
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition - Mirjam Pressler,Susan Massotty,Otto Frank,Anne Frank I read this book as part of Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday Challenge for 2016. I selected this one, and three other books because I feel like I have been slacking lately on my challenges on Goodreads. I first read version b of The Diary of a Young Girl when I was a teenager. I recall being sad and upset that someone that felt so alive to me was taken away and murdered. Reading about World War II and the Holocaust as a teen, I remember feeling sick. I can't imagine the atrocities that people had to live through. I read "Night" a few months ago and that book devastated me for days.

I feel very weird not giving this book five stars but here is my reasoning. Although I loved the historical aspect of this memoir/diary, I thought the whole thing started to read a bit samey after the first 50 pages or so.

That said, I love that as readers we get to see an in depth look of a 13 year old girl who had her whole life turned upside down because she was Jewish.

Because she was Jewish, she, her family, and others had to go into hiding with fear that they would be discovered which would mean the Nazis would find them, round them up, and send them to concentration camps where they knew they would surely be killed. I can't imagine living with that terror day in an day out.

I am fascinated that I had no idea for years that the version of this memoir I read decades ago had been edited. In my version, I don't recall any angst by Anne. I don't recall her having any fights with her mother or sister or any of the other occupants of the Annex where they all remained hidden for two years. I just remember thinking she sounded like a sweet girl who still saw the best in people and hoped to one day be allowed to go outside again. The definitive edition gives you the real Anne Frank. A 13 year old girl that at times was self centered, mean spirited, and moody. She felt more real to me in this version than she did in the version I had read decades ago.

Heck, I can see why she was moody. To be locked inside for two years, to have no privacy, to have to set up times for people to nap and study. To do all of that for two years would have left me bad tempered and ready to yell at anyone who breathed on me wrong too.

The ending though I knew what was coming was sad.
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review 2014-01-22 08:14
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

  Aunque lo considere un libro de muchísimo valor histórico y piense que es necesario leerlo por lo menos una vez para que no nos olvidemos de lo que pasó, para que siempre esté en la memoria de las personas que no se debe repetir algo así; el libro no terminó atrayéndome. No me parece malo, al contrario, Ana sin dudas, de haber sobrevivido sería una escritora excepcional. Ya quisiera yo, tener el talento para escribir que tenía ella con tan solo quince años; pero, lamentablemente, no es mi estilo

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review 2013-12-12 15:12
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank — 60th anniversary edition
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

I remember searching for this book at the library in my early teens. What I found instead was a diary written by a young Bosnian girl during the Bosnian war — Zlata's Diary. That made an impact because the war was still fresh on my mind and she was so close to my age.

 

I imagine that's how people felt reading Anne Frank's diary when it was first published. The connection between their own experiences, even from afar, and the daily life of girl who lost her life, made the book so powerful. But now, for me, Anne Frank's story is just that, a story from my grandparent's age and a tragic reminder how people are wolves to one another.

 

The diary does accomplish something great even today: it embodies the plight of the Jews in the Second World War. And if you can learn to see humanity in one oppressed group, you can learn to see it in others too.

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review 2013-07-30 00:00
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank,Otto Frank,Mirjam Pressler,Susan Massotty How do you rate a book like this? I kept hovering over the stars trying to decide, but this just isn't a book you "rate". I didn't read this for recreational purposes...I read it for information, insight, curiosity. I didn't love it or hate it. I wasn't appalled by the writings of a 14 year old girl or the matters which she chose to journal about.

I will say that you can see Ann maturing and growing in her writing as well as her train of thought throughout the book. I felt I knew the people she wrote about by the end of the book, which made knowing their terrible fates even more heartbreaking.
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