The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition

by Anne Frank

Hardcover, 1995



Local notes

921 FRA



Doubleday (1995), Edition: 1, 340 pages. $25.00.


The diary as Anne Frank wrote it. At last, in a new translation, this definitive edition contains entries about Anne's burgeoning sexuality and confrontations with her mother that were cut from previous editions. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

340 p.; 5.97 inches


0385473788 / 9780385473781



Media reviews

Her extraordinary commitment to the immediacy of individual experience in the face of crushing circumstance is precisely what has made Anne Frank's "Diary" -- since the first edition of the book appeared in the Netherlands in 1947 -- the single most compelling personal account of the Holocaust

User reviews

LibraryThing member Cecrow
The definitive edition's prologue states that the original edition of this diary was reduced in size to fit with a series of diaries being published by the Dutch following WW2. Envisioning an entire series of such records, why was Anne Frank's diary the standout example that became so internationally well-known?

First there is Anne's tender age, which is likely younger than most other diarists of the time. She lacked the self-conscious restraint an adult might have shown, willing to write with earnest feeling about every aspect of her life, and the diary is filled with entries true to the spirit of a young teenager. She rarely let signficant time pass between entries, a second point in the diary's favour. She also had the great good fortune to begin writing her entries at exactly the correct time, not just in history but in her own personal story. There is just enough time to record a few entries prior to her hiding, in order to glimpse the life that could have been and contrast that against what follows.

Anne introduces herself to her diary in the course of her opening entries as though it were a proper memoir, laying out her personal history to date. The Annex in which her family hides is a remarkable setting to read about, well planned and executed. The quality of the writing itself is a significant factor in the diary's popularity, as it captures fine details, incorporates well chosen metaphors and offers insightful character studies. Lastly, there is the diary's "spirit", conveying Anne's irrepressible optimism and the conviction that not only must everything come out right in the end, but that the world is ultimately benevolent in spite of everything she and her family are put through.

Taken together, these remarkable factors may have been the impetus for accusations of this diary being fictional, ghost-written, etc. Those rumours were put to rest following Otto Frank's death, when the diary manuscript's veracity was confirmed beyond doubt. There once was a young teenage girl who felt these feelings, recorded these thoughts and lived this experience. The fact that she was so young, with bright dreams of her future and full of such talent and hope, and yet did not survive the Holocaust, serves to compound the emotional power of the work. Emma Thompson's words linger: Anne's lost future is our future, and the dreams she had remain our dreams to fulfill.

This being the only edition I've read, I can't compare it with the diary's earlier, shorter edition to judge what value has been added. In the course of my reading I had two wonderful supplemental texts which I recommend: "Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary", offering photographs and background on Anne, her family and the secret annex, as well as summarizing world events that affected her; and "Tales from the Secret Annex", a collection of the fiction she wrote alongside the diary and sometimes mentioned.
… (more)
LibraryThing member sidecar
Simply one of the most moving and important reads of all time. It'll make you reevaluate your life in five pages or less.
LibraryThing member jenn88
Anne Frank was Jewish. She kept a diary during the Holocaust of her feelings and what went on in the Annex.

You can't deny she had talent and would've made it as a writer. Such a shame.
LibraryThing member victoriajensen
Although i read this book a while ago it has had a lasting impact on me. I love reading about the Holocaust because it is so foreign to me. I still can't believe something like that actually happened and that people were capable of doing such a thing. This story describes the daily life of Anne Frank during the Holocaust as a young girl hiding in the attic of an old office building. Usually when reading books about the Holocaust it always seems to revolve around the concentration camps. It was nice to see a different view of the Holocaust from a different situation and perspective. It made me think about how hard it must have been for such a young girl going through this. Throughout the book I kept putting myself in her situation. I truly was upset as I was reading this book. I still can't understand how this could have happened. I would recommend this book anyone, I think you can learn a lot from it.… (more)
LibraryThing member kazzablanca
Even if this was a work of fiction it would be moving. But knowing that this is an accurate portrait of a very real young lady's innermost thoughts adds enormously to the sense of poignancy that is felt when you immerse yourself in Anne's world.

I had expected an important political account of the war, and I had thought that Anne's narrative would be full of facts of the everyday workings of their little household. I wasn't expecting the heart-wringing angst as she struggled with all of the normal issues of a young teen, in the most abnormal of settings.

I can easily see why it has been held up as one of the most important works of the century.
… (more)
LibraryThing member john257hopper
This is the definitive edition of the famous diary, complete with a number of entries that Otto Frank had edited out before the first publication in 1947. These entries relate to Anne's growing sexuality and a large number of very unflattering and insulting remarks about most of the adults in the Annexe, including her mother Edith. It is understandable that Otto removed these at the time, to honour the memory of the dead, but also right that these have now been re-instated. Anne's writing talent and capacity for emotional reflection come across deeply here, especially in the latter part of the two year period of hiding - the last 6 months of this period takes up the second half of the book. This enhanced version has an even greater emotional impact than the original. One feels and suffers with Anne in her moments of heart-thumping terror when noises are heard downstairs, her moments of despairing frustration at the ceaseless bickering over food, and, yes, the moments of private joy when she marvels at the beauty of nature in the world outside her place of captivity. There are some marvellously inspiring quotes on the latter, showing how even in the depths of the appalling situation she was in, she was able to find peace and tranquillity in God's creation. By the end I felt I knew Anne as well or better than I do members of my own family. That is what makes the misery of the last seven months of her life all the more poignant and tragic. This is what bring the Holocaust to life in a more direct and human way that a book about the Holocaust or the camps overall, vital though such books are for a proper historical understanding. Should be read by everyone in all creed and nationalities as a symbol of the strength of the human spirit.… (more)
LibraryThing member stubbyfingers
The last time I read book, Anne Frank was older than me. Since we're going to visit the Anne Frank house next month, I thought it would be worthwhile to reread this.

Every time I read a story about this era I'm amazed by the extremes of human nature. How is it possible that people can sink so low as to go along with something like the Holocaust without putting a foot down and saying no? And at the same time, people can be so selfless as to put their lives at risk day in and day out to bring comfort to the lives of others?

The first thing I was struck by when reading this book was how much more mature Anne's writing was than anything I wrote when I was that age. Despite being trapped indoors for years by people who would kill her for being who she is, she still had high hopes and aspirations for her life. What an incredible heart wrenching waste to see this life snuffed out so early. How overwhelming to think that this life was just one of millions to be cut short at that time.

But I think the biggest message in this book is hope. Even in the face of the greatest adversity, there is always hope.
… (more)
LibraryThing member tillymint100
I have read this many years ago but I want to read it again after watching the BBC Series
LibraryThing member adrianneosmus
This book is written in diray form about a yound girl who went through the holocust. It talks about her struggles as you hides from the soldiers.

I read this book as a child and still remember the details throughout the book. I think that every student should read this book. I has alot of emotion and a powerful message.

You could use this book when talking about the holocust. You could let the students write a letter to a holocust survior and ask them questions they want answered.
… (more)
LibraryThing member gkuhns
Who hasn't heard the story of Anne Frank? The young Jewish girl's diary, chronicling her years in hiding in the annex of a house in Amsterdam, has been required reading for years. Sometimes, however, it seems as if the real Anne Frank has been replaced by a cardboard cutout of a little girl, a symbol of all that was lost in the Holocaust. The real Anne Frank, as evidenced in this book, is an imperfect, saucy, complicated teenager. I've heard so many complaints about this book, usually from middle school boys or from grown men who were forced to read the Diary of Anne Frank when they were in junior high. As a librarian, then, I would recommend this book cautiously to patient readers with a tolerance for the banal and an eye for detail.… (more)
LibraryThing member technodiabla
I read this book after visiting Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It was very powerful, especially after seeing the home itself. I highly recommend this for a youth audience in particular because it is so down to earth and "real" and yet gets into the horrors of the holocaust-- but on an individual level. We always hear about billions, but just one that you feel close to can be more powerful. I know this diary was heavily edited and I thought I remembered reading recently that some of the omitted excerpts were now available-- I'd love to read it all. I also saw the theater production last year in Ashland Oregon and enjoyed it.… (more)
LibraryThing member theboylatham
The autobiographical reminiscences of a young Jewish girl coming of age during World War II describes her life in hiding from the Nazis. Historically significant but not a great book.
LibraryThing member educ318
Made me cry. Totally worth reading! ~Rachel
LibraryThing member Othemts
Like many people I thought I knew everything about Anne Frank and her diary and probably like many people I never actually read it. I did see the movie when I was a kid. So, of course, I was in for a big surprise. It is a diary and reads like it was written by a teenage girl concerned with her studies, her changing body, attraction to boys, and asserting independence from her parents. She was also a teenage girl with a great talent for writing and one who was aware as she wrote that her diary would be published. It's fascinating how Anne Frank captures the personalities of the people she is in hiding with, the petty arguments, the greater political issues of the time, and the ordinary day-to-day life in an extraordinary situation. Knowing what happens, there are a lot of moments of heartbreak. When Anne accidentally incinerates her fountain pen and says it's turned to ashes just as she hopes to be cremated one day, I shuddered. There are several close calls where there hiding place is almost discovered and the relief of their escape is tempered by the knowledge that they would be caught in the end. Anne hopes to become a writer and journalist, a dream she only achieves posthumously.

If you're like me and haven't actually read this book, pick up a copy as soon as you can. I think it's especially worthwhile for teenagers to read as there is much to relate to and much to learn.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Cimarron
Anne Frank's Diary is a book I had always wanted to read, but it had not been at the top of my priority list. Then one day I spied it in a bookstore and felt compelled to finally get it. Now seemed to be the right time; I was ready.

My approach to this book was one of great care and slight intrepidation. Years ago I read Elie Wiesel's 'Night' and 'The Forgotten,' just two of his many books about the holocaust, and I found them hard to get through from an emotional point of view. These recounts are seriously horrific and serve as a sharp and extremely uncomfortable reminder of the lowest acts performed on fellow human beings. These recounts play such an important role in reminding us to never allow atrocities of this nature to occur again. They are stark, piercing recollections and will forever haunt me for all my days.

Anne Frank's Diary is well-read by a mass population and many reviews are already in circulation, so I am not going to attempt to add another one to the pile. I simply wish to add some of my own thoughts and if you happen to be reading this blog and have never read Anne Frank's Diary, then it might just inspire you.

What an interesting, complex and deep girl Anne Frank was. She began the diary when she was thirteen years old after receiving a diary as one of her gifts. Initially she wrote purely for herself, but later she began to write for an audience and as she matured her language increasingly became well-developed for her age. She dreamed of being an author and approached her writing with this in mind.

The details and subject material Anne chose to write about daily, detailed intricately what life was like for this small group of people hidden secretly away in the annex of her father's workplace. It is hard to imagine such cramped living conditions and how intimately these people had to share this existence for just over two years. It is beyond all comprehension when most of us enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

I found reading the book difficult as I neared the end. Knowing what fate was in store for Anne made me read with such a heavy heart. This diary is Anne's history and the history of those who were closest to her in the final two years of her life. It is a perfect example of times when one can be surrounded by many and still be lonely. I do wonder if Anne would have been so hard on her mother if she had of realised what her fate was to be. She was brutally honest about a lot of things and stayed true to these feelings, even when she decided others would read her work. All teenagers and parents go through issues with each other. It's a fact of life, but usually we are given a chance to work through these things privately and without being judged by others. Just think if we were all to write down our feelings when dealing with each other, I doubt any of us would come up smelling like roses.

I was most interested in reading about their living conditions, how they divided up the space, the roles they each undertook daily, the rationing of food, their diet, their resourcefulness and the way they continued to educate themselves and each other. Things gradually became harder as time went on. I was also very interested when Anne wrote about their friends outside (the people who helped them remain in hiding). It was important to show how these people continued to help them and what they had to endure from the outside as well.

How do you thank someone for their insight whose life was sacrificed so young? Anne bared her soul and the life of those she lived so closely with. I am sure she was optimistic and believed her diary would be published and read while she rebuilt her life after the war. I doubt she would ever have dreamed her words would be read post-humously. She may have died as a result of typhus, but she died, along with six others she shared the annex with, because of the conditions she was forced to live. What a waste of life. War is such a sacrifice for all who are forced to be a part of it. Whenever I read novels of authors, or other notable citizens who have died as a result of war, I am always left wondering...what if? What if there had been no war...what might these people have gone on to write, to be, gone on to achieve? Even just regular people...when life is snuffed out...we lose. We lose in so many ways too numerous to number...but, that is another story.
… (more)
LibraryThing member forkyfork
The Diary of Anne Frank has always been one of those books in my life. I remember studying it in Hebrew school, and making numerous attempts to read it throughout elementary and middle school. I watched the numerous movies pertaining to the subject matter. I even remember writing a passage in one of my many many journals about how it "made me sad". But, I've never actually read the book all the way through. Apparently, it's the best-selling non-fiction book next to the bible. Not bad.

That's why the prospect of the "Definitive" Edition sparked my interest. It's basically the original diary plus the taboo entries the left out the first time around. The result? 30% more material and supposedly a "better insight" into Anne Frank. I've checked this book out before (from the Largo Library), but never got around to it. But after my stay in Israel I was determined to finish this, once and for all. So what's the verdict?

As sad as this may be to say, I found myself bored frequently throughout the book. It's strange, because it's something that's been regarded so highly by so many people. I feel let down, but certainly not alone. For once, after checking the Amazon reviews regarding the book (a common practice of mine), I actually agreed with the majority of the readers. It was boring - plain and simple.

With not liking the book, you're put into such a hard place. It's her diary, unedited and raw. You can't really accuse it of being boring, because it's her life. If my entire journal was published, there are numerous passages I'm sure would bore the audiences too. People are too afraid to criticize Anne Frank because she was a victim of the Holocaust. Even though her diary never talks about her life after the Annex, it's still regarded as holocaust literature. As I wrote in my Amazon review, I doubt this book would have done so well had Anne Frank managed to survive.

I think this book could have stood to use a little editing. There were numerous boring passages throughout the book that could have simply been omitted. The Peter saga was by far the most exciting part in the book, and it should not have come half way through. While the sex stuff (and hatred for other house guests) was enjoyable, I don't know if everything else they left in was really necessary. If Anne Frank was the editor of her own book, would she have wanted every single detail published? I think a lot of the more meaningless details would have better left in the "Critical Edition".

I will admit, there were times when I sympathized with Anne Frank, especially about being "surrounded by people but feeling so alone". Not to mention being a teenager and just feeling this change inside of you. The parts of the book were really fascinating, and probably helped to make it the timeless peace of literature that it is.

At the very least, it was about time that I read this. It's one of those books you hear so much about in your life, you have to read them simply to say that you have. I plan to read other holocaust books (both fiction and non-fiction) afterward. This was a good introduction, but is certainly not the definitive book. I will definitely check out the "Critical Edition" after this, though, because Anne Frank will always be one of those lives that fascinates me.
… (more)
LibraryThing member NikoleJosh
A young girl Anne Frank is forced to live in an old office building attic in Amsterdam, at the age of thirteen. Hiding away from the Nazis for two years Anne keeps a diary telling of her experience and dreams of going out in the world outside. This book is filled with Anne's personal fears, thoughts, and little of romance along with her fearful hiding with her family and friends.
My Response
I think this book is very interesting to read and puts you in a small inner site of experience Anne, her family, and family friends went through in fear of their life. At the age of thirteen you can't imagine to be put in a situation like that and the author did a great job publishing and puting the empty spaces in between to know what was going on. This book is good for all people of ages to read young and old.
Classroom Extension
1)Ask students if they had to hide what would they take with them.
2)Ask students to write about Anne Frank's experience and put themselves in that situation, how would they relate to her.
… (more)
LibraryThing member JasChristina
The story of a Jewish family forced by invading Nazis to live in hiding. This book is also good in discussing historical events that happened in the world. It also brings insight on one family’s unselfishness and willing to help. It’s a story of courage, strength, and love; when the world is telling you not to do those very things.… (more)
LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
I've read Diary of a Young Girl many times since I first discovered it in 7th grade. This time, I purchased a copy of the Definitive Edition. The "old" edition became a good friend through the years. This edition has new entries that Otto Frank chose to delete from publication. This version gives the reader a deeper look at the complexities of Anne Frank and life in the secret annex.… (more)
LibraryThing member eghirsch
I felt to connected to this story because like Anne I am Jewish and had family who lived in Germany during the Holocaust. This story really touched me because we see how over time Anne's family changed through the Holocaust and adjusted through this difficult time.
LibraryThing member amanda_reid
A wonderful read for anyone in 6-8 grades. A true eye opening experience.
LibraryThing member MrJPenguin
Summary: This diary is a collection of a young girl's thoughts, feelings, and experiences during one of the most horrific periods in history, and as one of the most unfortunate people to be. Forced to live in a secluded annex or be captured, separated, and sent to work camps, Anne Frank, her family, and a number of others hide from the entire world for two long years. It is in this diary or "Kitty" as Anne affectionately refers to it as, that Anne pours everything she feels from the bottom of her heart, as she grows up in a world that no child should have to live in.

Personal Reaction: I can't even begin to start on how much I love this book. I read the original over five years ago and I was overwhelmed, and find myself unable to imagine any of the pain that not just Anne, but the pain all of the poor people the Nazis targeted went through. This book must be read.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1. Have the students begin writing in their own diaries, and even have them give the diaries names like Kitty.

2. Sit the children down and see if any of them are descended from anyone who may have had to live throughout the Holocaust.
… (more)
LibraryThing member LainaBourgeois
This is the diary of Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944 and Anne Frank ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. This true life story of a great tragedy in history is an exceptional view into the life of a young girl that had to live this first hand. This would be a great book to read for a social studies or history class.… (more)
LibraryThing member bplteen
Review by: Kaixin

It was one of the best-written books I have ever read. It is so sad. I wished she hadn't died, but then of course we wouldn't have been given the chance to read such a heart moving, amazing piece. I think anybody could read it. It was a cool book.
LibraryThing member Carolfoasia
Absolutely beautiful. What a gifted writer who paints such a portrait of life in hiding. This Holocaust Remembrance Week, I mourn the loss of this wonder woman.




(794 ratings; 4.2)
Page: 0.4277 seconds