Saturday, July 7, 2018

Anne Frank #DiverseKidLit

Anne Frank
Written by Josephine Poole
Illustrated by Angela Barrett

For kids too young to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, this is a great way to introduce them to Anne and her story and spark interest in learning about Anne’s life and hopefully want to read her words one day.

This story is an excellent way to start the conversation about what happened in Germany and to Jews when Adolf Hitler rules.

“Mostly Anne felt on top of the world. But sometimes she was afraid. There was a good reason for this: Adolf Hitler ruled Germany then, and he had vowed to get rid of Jews. Frank was a German Jew.”

A short history is given to explain how Germany had changed because of the first World War and how Germans looked for someone to blame. Because Hitler hated Jews, he claimed they were to blame for all of Germany’s troubles.
Frightened, Jews left Germany. Anne’s father, Mr. Frank worked in the Netherlands and found an apartment in Amsterdam.

The author paints a clear picture of Anne for young readers, saying Anne was naughty in class by telling jokes and making funny faces so everyone, even the teachers, laughed.

Soon, German soldiers marched through Amsterdam, and Jews were ordered to wear “a big yellow start with Joed printed on it.”

Anne’s father, a clever man, began moving furniture and installing a toilet and sink in the abandoned upstairs rooms in the building where he worked—an annex.
When Anne’s sister, Margot, was 16, she was sent an order to report for labor service working for Germans. This was the moment her father knew it was time to disappear. Anne packed the diary she’d been given on her last birthday.

A woman named Miep, who worked with Mr. Frank, led them into the secret annex. From then on, they muse hide, silently, with a second family. Soon, 8 people were hiding in the cramped space.

We get glimpses into what Anne endured during the day and at night while hiding mere feet from the real world for two years.

Somehow, on August 4, 1944, the Franks are found out, and everyone in the annex are taken away. In the chaos, Anne’s diary was scattered across the floor. Miep collected the papers and hid it, hoping to one day give it back to Anne, but only Mr. Frank returned.

This children’s story has the same sad ending as The Diary of a Young Girl, as it should because it’s a true story, but it could be hard for kids to digest. I, for one, as an adult, still have a hard time knowing Anne (and her sister) died of typhus in a concentration camp.

“Anne Frank was no more than a girl, and her short life had come to an end. But her story was just the beginning.”

I truly believe all young adults and older adults should read The Diary of a Young Girl. And now I believe children and parents should read this started story packed with history and memories of a brave girl.