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Anne Frank: A Hidden Life

by Mirjam Pressler
Translated by Anthea Bell, from the Dutch

Published by U.S. edition: Dutton, 2000
176 pages
ISBN: 0-525-46330-5

Age 12 and older

This outstanding and insightful biography was written by the editor and translator of the definitive edition of Anne Frank's diary, published by Doubleday in 1995. Pressler clearly knows her subject -- not only due to her intimate knowledge of the the different versions Frank's diary went through before and after her death, but also from her extensive use of sources containing accounts of people who knew Anne and her family personally, and background information about the history of Frank's time.. By combining Anne's autobiographical writing and information culled from secondary sources, Pressler is able to provide a well-rounded picture of Anne, the seven other people occupying the secret annex, and their non-Jewish helpers outside. Her work also places the diary and its writer in the context of their times, both in terms of history and in terms of Anne's own psychological and physical development. Throughout, Pressler makes her own late-20th century point of view clear which lends the narrative a lively and engaging tone. Particularly moving is the final chapter, "Arrest and Deportation," which discusses Anne's last months at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, based on first-person accounts of survivors who were with her at that time. The book concludes with a chronology, extensive endnotes, and a bibliography. CCBC categories: Biography and Autobiography. (KTH; June 12) 2000 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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