REVIEW: Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar and Ruud van der Rol

REVIEW: Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar and Ruud van der RolAnne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar, Ruud van der Rol
Published: Flash Point (2009), Hardcover, 219pg
Source: Library
Genres: Biography, History, Non-Fiction

On a summer day in 1942, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding from the Nazis. Until the day they arrested her, more than two years later, she kept a diary. ANNE FRANK is the indispensible visual guide to her tragic, but inspiring story. Produced in association with The Anne Frank House and filled with never-before-published snapshots, school pictures, and photos of the diary and the Secret Annex, this elegantly designed album is both a stand-alone introduction to Anne’s life and a photographic companion to a classic of Holocaust literature. (from Amazon)

I didn’t sleep well Sunday night, and my eyes weren’t wanting to focus on the book I had brought with me to work (the type! so tiny!). So I grabbed this off the shelf and hoped for the best– and it was the best.

I first read Anne Frank’s diary in elementary school, I think, and while I haven’t read it in a while I do remember the basics. I also remember really enjoying it (I tend to like diaries-as-books, anyway, but Anne Frank’s is particularly well-written). This book, Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures, is sort of like a supplement to her diary. It has lots of pictures of Anne Frank, her family, her friends, the annex where they hid for nearly two years, plus photos of her actual diary. I had never seen these photos before, so I really appreciated being able to look through them and into Anne Frank’s life.

As well as the photos, there’s a sort of biography of Anne Frank and her family’s life from the time she was born to the time she died. It doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail, but it’s a good outline and one that’s sensitively written. I appreciated that it didn’t go into sensationalism or frivolity; it kept itself to the known facts, with few speculations and no hyperbole from what I could see.

I’m actually feeling really emotional after finishing this book. I was reading it on the bus ride home and I definitely teared up so much I nearly missed my stop. I think being able to see Anne as well as reading her words and the words about her life is so touching, and poignant, and wonderful, that can’t recommend this book enough. I think it works for everyone, both young and old, for anyone who is interested in history and human life.

Read: January 4, 2010

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar and Ruud van der Rol”

  1. I read her diary when I was quite young, and I didn’t find out for years that she had later been sent to a concentration camp and killed. (Seems weird my copy didn’t say so, or maybe I just didn’t pay attention.) I nearly started crying when I did find out. Thanks for the review – this is one I’d really like to try sometime.

  2. When I was in Jr. High I went on a school exchange trip to Germany and during part of the trip we visited two concentration camps. One was a camp that Anne Frank was at for a while and now houses a large memorial display of pictures of the many victims. While I don’t remember many details of the camp, I’ll never forget the feeling I got, knowing that so many had been killed there. So haunting. And then we spent the afternoon at an amusement park. Not the best planned day.

    It’s so easy to think that these were fictional people. Things like that memorial and these books help remind us that they were indeed real and that their memories need to be honored.

    Great review. I’ll need to look for this book.

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