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Outline ReviewMany young people first encounter the terrible reality of the Nazi Holocaust through reading the diaries of Anne Frank. Teens who cherish that unforgettable literary and emotional experience will be fascinated by the additional insights in Anne Frank: A Hidden Life. Mirjam Pressler draws on her background as editor of Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition to explain the three versions of the Anne Frank diaries, to discuss newly revealed material, and to speculate on Anne's spiritual and sexual development during her three-year confinement in the secret annex. Pressler's title takes on a double meaning as she analyzes Anne's "hidden life," the "much deeper, purer, and finer" self the young girl wrote about wistfully but concealed from the others with a faade of cheerful outspokenness. Pressler also uses the eyewitness testimonies of the Frank family's helper Miep Gies, Anne's school friend Hanneli Goslar, and Otto Frank's stepdaughter Eva Schloss to expand our understanding of the other inhabitants of the Annex and to follow them through those unfathomable seven months in the death camps.
Anne Frank's remarkable diaries have been the subject of many other books, from learned essays to historical studies to picture books and poetry. Teens with an interest in the life of this cultural icon may also want to read Anne Frank: The Biography, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, and Memories of Anne Frank. (Ages 11 and older) --Patty Campbell
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