Monday, March 15, 2021

The Power of One Voice: Anne Frank: A Light in the Darkness by Tamara Leigh Hollingsworth

Billions of words, millions of pages, thousands of books, and hundreds of films have been published about World War II, but if there is one voice that continues to bring the time between 1939 and 1945 alive, it is that of Anne Frank, a young teen-aged Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

For her thirteenth birthday in 1942, Anne was given a journal, and, written in hiding from the enemy in the attic of a warehouse, Anne Frank's diary is the best known and loved book from that time. Protected by non-Jewish friends, Anne was a gifted and devoted writer, and her account of her early adolescent years concealed from the enemy has made her short life one of the tragedies and beloved memoirs of that time. Only Anne's father survived their years in a German concentration camp, and when, after the war's end Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam and visited their hiding place, "the secret annex," among the strewn articles left behind at their arrest, Anne's father found her plaid-bound journal, and the rest is ... history.

Published in Europe in 1947 as The Secret Annex and in the United States as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, has become beloved and required reading for upper elementary and middle school readers, and Tamara Leigh Hollingsworth's Anne Frank: A Light in the Dark (TIME FOR KIDSĀ® Nonfiction Readers) (Teacher Created Materials) is recommended collateral reading for middle readers. This title recounts the story of Anne Frank's short life beautifully, and the book's pages provide many photos of Anne and her father, the outside and inside of the warehouse where they were hidden, including the famous moving bookcase which kept them hidden from the warehouse workers below, along with fact boxes which illuminate the text and quotations from Anne's journal that capture her spirit well:

"The nicest part is being able to write down my thoughts and feelings. Otherwise I would absolutely suffocate!"

"Nearly every morning I go to the attic. From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree on whose branches little random raindrops shine, like silver, and the seagulls and other birds gliding on the wind."

"We're all alive, but we don't know why or what for. We're all searching for happiness; we're all leading lives that are different and yet the same."

With moving descriptions and quotations and an appendix which features a timeline of Anne's short life, a glossary, and full index, this compact book supports English class book studies and women's and world history lessons, a succinct and valuable resource for young nonfiction readers and researchers.

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