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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
When I was first introduced to Anne Frank, I was about the same age as she was when she first entered the annex to stay hidden with her family from the Nazis. The timing was perfect for me to feel the full impact of what she was going through. My age helped me relate more intimately to the horrors and fears she faced. I remember distinctly being disturbed and distraught when the Nazis invaded the annex and took young Anne and her family away, and even more distraught when I learned that Anne didn’t survive the horrors of the concentration camp. This compelling attachment to one girl, whose diary touched so many worldwide, was not mine alone. Many people, like me, can honestly say that Anne Frank and her story told in her diary have affected who we are today.
Anne Frank has touched me again while reading Tim Whittome’s “Meeting” Anne Frank: An Anthology. With a concise biography of Anne and the Frank family, coupled with details on those who shared the famous hidden annex, authors worldwide have written their own personal journey with Anne by their side, in their hearts and in their souls. As Frederica Pannocchia, founder of the Italian charity A Bridge for Anne Frank, writes: “The story of Anne Frank literally changed my life. She opened a new world to me – a world that was maybe already inside my heart, but that needed to be enriched and encouraged by the words and courage of this wonderful and special young girl.”
These stories, poems, and essays are a sensitive and intense look at how one girl has influenced, affected, and, yes, even changed the lives of so many. This collection is a fascinating read and will help us all as we face yet another hidden evil that threatens our lives and forces us to isolate for reasons of self-preservation. We may not have to face the evils of concentration camps and gas chambers as Anne and her family did, but we have to face the fear of unrelenting and troublesome times. A fascinating look at one girl’s life and how she managed to live her dream beyond her tragic death through the simple words in her personal diary.