Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

Paperback, 1993



Local notes

PB Fra


Bantam (1993), Edition: Reissue, 283 pages


The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

304 p.; 4.2 inches







Media reviews

It is a truly remarkable book. Its revelation of the emotional turmoil and intellectual growth of an adolescent girl during extraordinarily difficult circumstances is psychologically fascinating. Its portrayal of ordinary people under frightful nervous strain and perpetual forced intimacy is wise and perceptive. Anne was precociously mature in her understanding of both herself and of others.
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Anne Frank's diary is too tenderly intimate a book to be frozen with the label "classic," and yet no lesser designation serves... But her book is not a classic to be left on the library shelf. It is a warm and stirring confession, to be read over and over for insight and enjoyment.

User reviews

LibraryThing member asciiphil
Sometimes, it seems that everyone except me had to read The Diary of Anne Frank in school. (The fact that I probably got more out of the book because I didn't is a piece for another day.) While I was reading, I learned from a friend of mine that I was reading an edited version. Though it is not indicated anywhere in the copy I have, it was edited by Anne's father before publication. (This despite the declaration "unabridged" on the title page.) I am told Anne's father removed much about Anne that was specifically Jewish or related to her burgeoning sexuality. (The former because he wanted her to be a more religion-neutral hero, the latter presumably because he didn't want people reading that about his daughter.) So I suppose I'll have to read the fuller version at some point. Regardless, this one is quite good.

Anne Frank was a talented writer. She does a good job of expressing what her life was like during the two years of her family's hiding from the Germans. At times, I did feel that I was an interloper in someone else's thoughts, especially during the time when she was exploring her feelings for Peter, but that lends to the feel of the book. It tells the tale of a young girl thrust into a situation where she has little control over her life and how she manages to live with that.

I'm not sure what I think of the translation. Anne originally wrote in Dutch, which doesn't work well for a sadly monolingual American such as myself. The translation is very much one for a British audience--in addition to things like footnotes translating guilders into shillings and pence, much of Anne's translated language usage involved very British phrases like, "had a jolly good row with so-and-so." For the most part this was relatively unnoticeable, since the phrasing flowed very smoothly through my understanding, but occasionally I was struck by the contrast inherent in a Dutch girl being given a British voice. I understand the reasons for the mode of the translation, but I do wonder what exactly Anne really wrote. (For a real answer, I'd have to learn Dutch, and for a real answer, I'd probably have to grow up in Holland.)

What strikes me most is Anne's generally unflagging optimism throughout the whole book. In one of her final entries, she waxes very introspective, examining her thoughts and behaviors carefully. Near the end of that entry, she writes, "It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death."
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LibraryThing member GlebtheDancer
This is one of those books that I thought I knew what it would say, before I read it. I was expecting a chronicling of an heroic struggle of a family against the forces of oppression. What I found instead, was so much more human, touching, tragic and beautiful. Anne Frank was, from her own writing, a typical teenage girl: stroppy, irritating, precocious, gobby and loud. The inmates of the secret annexe are portrayed (by Anne) as constantly bickering over trivialities, being petty and finding little in the way of shared warmth. Anne also chronicles her burgeoning sexuality,and the beginnings of her transition into womanhood, like any young girl. And then, one day, it stops just like that, and they are all taken away, and they all die. Anne's diary is the most shocking reminder that the victims of the holocaust were just people; ordinary, mundane, people, killed in their millions. As a piece if literature its actually not bad, but as a documentation of the holocaust from the inside its incredible.… (more)
LibraryThing member MoniqueReads
"Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" is to powerful to be adequately expressed in words. At the end I was in tears and so sad. The power in the story is not just not that Anne Frank dies in a concentration camp (I don't think this is a spoiler since it should be common knowledge) but in the hope and fear that Frank express throughout the diary.

The story is compelling because Anne Frank the reader gets to see a 13 year old girl develop while hiding in a back attic (apartment) during the holocaust. The reader gets to see her go though all the emotional and developmental changes that teenage girls go through. They get to read about her dream of being a reporter. Her appreciation for the Dutch people for not only hiding them but taking them in as refuges before the Germans conquered the country. Anne expresses her disassociation with her parents and the mixed feelings that age and Independence bring to the parent-child relationship. It is all there pain, hope, frustration, happiness.

Even knowing how Anne's story ends I couldn't help but hoping for her.

On another note: I really enjoy reading not only nonfiction books but also historical fiction but sometimes they put the world in order. For instance I know the time period that the holocaust happen. I know about Gandhi. But to put them together and to see how Gandhi's words affected Anne Frank and her family is eye opening. When in school there is a tendency to look at bits and pieces of history and disconnect places and events. Reading story like this mesh them together and gives people a boarder more encompassing view of the world.

Pros: Writing, Characters, Everything
Cons: Sad

Overall Recommendation:

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is most definitely now a favorite book. It is a real tear jerkier so keep a box of tissues with you and don't read it in a public place.
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LibraryThing member -AlyssaE-
i thought that this was a great book. its amazing. its not as powerful as getting to hear a holocaust survivor speak but its powerful. hearing a holocaust survivor speak is so powerful. everything you hear or read about the holocaust is shocking and almost unbelieveable
LibraryThing member Goldengrove
I recently re-read this, as I'd done a display about Anne and her family in the school Library. Designing the display made me very sad, so I went back to Anne's own words.
As an adult reading the diary, it's amazing how self-aware Anne is; you can see her growing up as she writes, and more than that, you can see her noticing her own development. Anne's appeal is perhaps because she was both an ordinary teenager, and at the same time a very unusually clear-eyed individual.
It is, of course, impossible to read the diary without the constant shadow of Anne's future in mind. Although this is tragic, it also highlights the beauty and creativity of her brief life. I am encouraged that so many of the girls at school read the diary, and feel that they know this courageous, curious and exuberant young woman. She certainly achieved her ambition to become a writer, at the same time utterly defeating the Nazi's attempts to silence her.
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LibraryThing member multifaceted
To be brutally honest, I did not like “Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl” that much. Sorry. There are so many books about the Holocaust (yes, the event is a capitalized word—the lowercase word is something different) out there, and this was not the first I read. As a result, perhaps, I think there are a lot of books that can, and do, do better than this one to make the events “hit home”.

It found it somewhat uneventful; but of course, my life would be uneventful, too, if I lived in an annex and could barely ever make contact with the world! I can’t blame her for that, of course. Some of the events that did take place involved fights or Anne getting mad at her mother or sister, which I found to be kind of trivial.

Maybe part of the “blahness” is due to editing in order to make the book more acceptable? I notice there is a “newly” translated “definitive” edition out there, which could be different than the version I read.

I also found it extremely girly—I can’t deny that Anne Frank was example of a normal girl in a rather unique situation, so most women can more easily identify, I suppose. And I can’t deny that she was very insightful and smart. I, however, was never really into the whole pouring-my-heart-out-into-a-diary kind of thing, nor much “inspirational” writing. As I mentioned, I had read similar insightful stories about the Holocaust before (and shortly after) this one, so her maturity didn’t jump out at me and seem so profound. I’m sure this also contributes to why I couldn’t identify with/ didn’t like this book so much.

It’s good if you want something “inspirational”, and want to learn a bit about life in the Holocaust without reading about too many of the death facts, politics, whatever (naturally, being a kid in an annex, she was sheltered from much of it). Personally, I like something that has more of a mix of the two ends.
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LibraryThing member ariebonn
One of the most touching books, the diary of Anne Frank gives you a closer look of the suffering that the Jews went through during World War II. When Anne started writing in her diary she didn't think anyone would be interested in reading it years later, but wow that certainly was not the case as this books lives on for years after her death and will continue to do so.

As Anne and her family go into hiding in a secret annexe in a warehouse, their life changes tremendously and they all have to learn to live together in the confined spaces of the annexe. As a thirteen year old, when so many changes are taking place, this was not easy for Anne but she never lost hope and kept dreaming that one day she will be a journalist and a writer. Her diary was her friend, the only way she could express her feelings and frustrations during these hard times. As everyone knows Anne Frank died in a concentration camp after they were discovered, and even though you know how it ends her writing keeps you hoping that they make it through. She had visions of the kind of woman she wanted to grow up to be and it is so sad to know that all those hopes and dreams were lost, and for what? The afterword must have been the most powerful part of this book, when it finally dawns what an unfortunate fate this talented girl had.

Everyone should read this book at some point in their lives, even if you're not into WWII writings, everyone should know about the suffering that these crazy times brought for the people irrelevant of the race, religion or nationality.
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LibraryThing member ShakelaWilliams
I remember reading Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl as a young adult, and I was moved by her story. I enjoy this book for many reasons. First, this book tackles The Holocaust in an age-appropriate way, without sugarcoating the topic. The reader sees the true effects of the Holocaust through the eyes of a young girl that is around the same age as them. Not only does it expose the reader to the true events of the Holocaust, but also it forces them to see a different perspective of life for someone their age in a different time period. When Frank states, “I can’t tell you how oppressive it is never to be able to go outdoors, also I’m very afraid that we shall be discovered and be shot.” The constant state of fear Anne Frank describes is really poignant and comes through transparently in the text. Also, the use of dates also helps the reader understand the time period and the relation to major events. The reader has the ability to see the date and compare it to major occurrences during the Holocaust. This helps them to develop a clearer understanding of historical events, while analyzing how traumatic this experience was for the Jews. The main purpose for this autobiography is to really get the reader to understand Anne Frank’s perspective of The Holocaust, and how the Jews really felt during this time period.… (more)
LibraryThing member mbabst
In this novel,The Diary of Anne Frank, you are taken into life of a Jewish family and their struggle to survive. Anne Frank and her family hid out in a house during this time I which all Jews were sent to the concentration camp. When you read this book you are taken into their difficult yet simplistic lifestyle they endure while in this house. You will have a different perspective on the war because it shows how difficult living in the attic really was. I would assign this book to a group of 8th-9th graders because they will be able to understand the concept of the second world war along with how much suffering her family endured.… (more)
LibraryThing member sooziebeaker
Whether you're young or old this is a must read. A bittersweet tale of a family struggling to live in the 20th Century's darkest hour.
LibraryThing member Milina_Moreno
This is an incredibly, incredibly powerful and moving biography. Anne Frank’s story is a heavy topic, but this story is wonderfully written because of how honest it is. Anne was given a journal for her thirteenth birthday and wrote in it everyday for years. This story is excellent because it contains real entries from Anne living in the Annex, hiding from the Germans. This made the story so much more real, as being able to read the entries was truly eye opening. I also love this story because the real struggles of Anne living in a tiny office building with her family, amongst others, are brought to life. While reading this story I felt deeply bad and sorry for Anne and the rest of the Jews living during this time. Although I’ve learned much about the Holocaust, this specific story was the one to bring it to life for me. The message behind this story is to fight for your rights and your families, no matter how hard the circumstances are.… (more)
LibraryThing member abrozi1
One of the most memorable books I have ever read is The Diary of Anne Frank. This book was about a young Jewish girl coming of age during WWII, Germany. Her diary is an iconic piece of history that will forever be known. I cannot specify one part that is better than the other. I truly believe that every person should read this book. It describes the horrors of war intertwined with the everyday issues of a teenage girl.… (more)
LibraryThing member jcuttitta
I liked this book because it shed a realistic light on the holocaust. Most people know about the holocaust, but having it told from the perspective of a teenage girl makes the events more relatable to someone who did not go through this. Reading about how she liked Peter made the book relatable and showed how she was just an average teenager. I also liked this book because it was a first person telling of what actually happened during the Holocaust. So many Americans have no idea what it could have possibly been like and this story shows the reader from the perspective of Anne Frank which I throughly enjoyed. The big idea of this story was perseverance.… (more)
LibraryThing member ajohns75
I absolutely love this book. It allows the readers to see how Anne Frank was feeling throughout her whole journey of going through World War II and The Holocaust. This would be good for fourth grade up until sixth graders, but any readers of a younger age should be approved by an adult to read this text. This book not only teaches students about Anne Frank and her family, but it also teaches about Word War II and The Holocaust, an extremely tragic time in history that should be taught to students for generations to come in order to avoid history repeating itself. One of my favorite aspects of this diary were the photos included in parts of the text, allowing readers to visualize the annex and significant points in Anne's life.… (more)
LibraryThing member corzel1
In middle school I read this book and saw the film. I found Anne’s story to be beautiful, informative and touching. Any reader would be instantly immersed in Anne Frank’s story. The author places the reader in Anne’s shoes almost immediately. Reading this story you feel and experience everything that Anne does. Reading Anne Frank’s journey through the Holocaust and WWII allow me to not only learn about history, but also feel as if I got a little touch of what some people experienced. This story would be good for a reader in fourth grade or above. Although, this text does touch on hard topics so either a parent or teacher should approve it. The author used very descriptive language throughout the entire book. Many times, I felt as if I was hiding in the room with Anne and the others. The author portrays the idea of being in hiding in a very realistic way because Anne lived through it all. The reader may recognize the hardships that fell upon individuals that followed the Jewish religion during the Holocaust and WWII. This book not only teaches students about Anne Frank and her family, but it also provides information on Word War II and the Holocaust. This historical story could also strike any readers interest and make them want to read more biographical stories about the Holocaust or WWII. My favorite parts about this story are the pictures. I feel that’s what makes the reader connect with the story and Anne Frank. What I really found interesting were the photos placed strategically throughout the story. These photos allowed the reader to get a visual of what Anne experienced.… (more)
LibraryThing member missnix
Fabulous, amazing that a girl so young could think so big. It makes you think more about how people suffered because of Hitler.

I read this after my mum and absoulutely loved it. It's so moving and I cried when I heard how things ended. I would read it again any time and I think that anyone who hasn't read the book should get to it immediately. Such a moving book.… (more)
LibraryThing member Tahlil77
This is the unabridged version of one of the most famous diaries in human history. Coming with its own slipcase, it's bound in cloth and the book is constructed to look exactly like the original diary that is on display in the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It's loaded with rare fotos, and has an introduction by Elie Wiesel.
LibraryThing member varwenea
“I want to go on living even after my death!” – Anne Frank, April 4, 1944. She has far exceeded her expectations.

It is unnecessary to write a review of a person’s diary, especially when it’s the historical phenomenon of Anne Frank. My words here are perhaps notes more for myself than a review for my fellow LT users. Had she survived, I surmise that she would have been awarded a Nobel Peace prize, carrying on the message of peace and understanding, preventing these atrocities from repeating in the future, which is what Otto Frank did in his remaining years.

About the diary version, mine is “version b” the most common variant, a paperback stocked by the book shop at the Anne Frank House; this contains the editorial passages that Anne inserted upon her re-read and wanted her diary to be thorough and to be a reference for her future book, ‘The Secret Annexe’. It also has full content including her blossoming sexuality.

The diary was certainly intriguing. The first half was solid with historical notations, the specifics of living a life in hiding, and the relationships, interactions, frustrations, angst amongst those in hiding. I particularly enjoyed learning about their saintly helpers. The third quarter dragged for this reader as much of it was her pining for Peter van Daan. The last quarter contained her most mature and elaborate thoughts about war, its effects, the destruction.

Despite knowing the aftermath, I cried like a faucet reading the 'Afterword' and 'The Legacy of Anne Frank'.

Let’s close with these words from Anne, on July 15, 1944, shortly before they were taken on August 4, 1944:
“It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too will end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them!”
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LibraryThing member Polo.Pony
Everybody should read "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Yong Girl." Anne is Jewish during the time of the holocaust. Her family has to go into hiding and she writes about her experiences and thoughts in her diary that she received for her birthday. One of the things that makes this such an amazing story is that it is true and really was written by Anne.… (more)
LibraryThing member mlcraft
Very litte illustrations beside the actual real pictures that depict Frank. This an excellent story of her diary that portrays incidents and struggles in her life.
LibraryThing member dariazeoli
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by this girl. One teenager affected by an unspeakable event, denied even today by some. Forced to hide from the eventual reality of concentration camps and death. And she wrote. She wanted to be a writer, and dammit, she was a writer. I cannot begin to fathom how it must have felt for Otto Frank to survive the Holocaust and to find that the rest of his family did not. All he had left were the writings of his youngest daughter. And he shared them with us. He could have curled up into a ball and let tragedy consume him, but he didn’t. He let his daughter live past her life.

When I was younger, I found Anne Frank very relateable. She worried about boys, about her relationship with her mother, complained about the adults she was forced to share close quarters with. For two years, having to worry that she, and those hiding with her, would be found and shot. And still, she had photographs of celebrities pasted on her walls; a bit of normalcy in a very unnormal world.

I remember in high school, being asked in one class or another about heroes. I said that Anne Frank was mine. A classmate of mine scoffed, and ridiculed me for picking a teenaged girl as a role model. The teacher defended me as I tried to justify my choice.

I am older (and maybe wiser) than I was then, but I wouldn’t ever disavow that choice. A young girl put into a horrible position and choosing not to let it silence her is someone to admire. A story about how our words live on long after we do? I can’t see anything wrong with respecting that.

It’s because of the story of Anne Frank, that I, as well as many others I’m sure, became aware of the horror of what happened during World War II. If relating to a young Jewish girl, seeing a piece of yourself in her, isn’t at least part of the point, what is? We all have a common thread. Hate and fear and killing others because of that hate and fear? There’s no excuse.

I still read about the Holocaust to this day. I watch movies. It is beyond my comprehension that it happened, that it was allowed to happen. That humanity can treat itself that way. I have a horrible fascination with the topic, as if someday, logic will be found in its existence.

I know that day will never come. But I am glad that the stories of those who suffered through it survive.
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LibraryThing member Patrick-Shea14
Anne Frank was a jewish kid living in Amsterdam, Holland during Nazi reign in Europe. Her and her family went into hiding in a local businesses attic. While living in the attic for almost two years, Anne Frank wrote a dairy sharing her experiences during Nazi occupied Europe and shares her wisdom in life though she is rather young but always humble in a way where her readers have a really strong connection to. This dairy is a another must read that not only kids, teenagers, but for everyone to understand what life of a Jewish immigrant in Europe had to go through.
This is a historic Realism
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LibraryThing member otherfool
The only girl I've ever loved
was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive,
one evening 1945,
with just her sister at her side.

(Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945)

It's such a shame that as a Dutchman I've never read the diary of Anne Frank up until recently, as it not only describes such an important milestone in history from such a special perspective, but is also a touching and very personal written analysis of herself and the people surrounding her in the 'achterhuis'. Anne has an almost awkward and very adult self-awareness and knows how to describe it inch-perfect. Somewhere in the diary Anne writes about becoming a journalist, or even a writer. Not only did the world lose an innocent young girl, it also lost a great talent who kept my eyes glued to the pages right up until the sad, sad epilogue.
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LibraryThing member meggyweg
The thing that gets me about Anne's diary is how ordinary she is. Anne Frank was a perfectly normal teenage girl, with your standard sibling rivalry issues, boy issues, parent issues, sex issues, discovering-self issues, etc. I don't see that she was a very special person; nor do I find in her diary any evidence of great intelligence or literary talent.

Anne Frank wanted to become a famous writer when she grew up. And now she has become a famous writer. She has fame beyond most people's wildest dreams. She is a household word around the world. She and her diary are frequently studied in school. But only because of the manner of her death. Anne was an ordinary teenager and the only noteworthy thing that ever happened to her is that she got caught up in the Holocaust and murdered.

I wonder if she would have thought her fame was worth that price.
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LibraryThing member EdselC.B1
I think that anne frank is a really good book i though it had a story and im surpried that just i little girl can make the best book. I think people should read it beacuse it talks about a girl when she is hidding from the germans.She talks about what happens every day for example she talks about her house getting robed becuse germany is getting poor.Or when she needs to be cilent in the day time. Also this book is great this book people need to read it beacuse it is amazoning its alsome. She also talks about her sister and her mom and dad anne franks is inteligent she nows how to rite. Also anne tells use when it was the day of her birthday that she got chocloate for her birthday from her dad.These are some things that i like about anne frank.

The story starts when she has to mave to amsterdam beacuse the germans dont like the jews even thought anne frank is a german citicens they still hated the jews. When they moved anne mad lots of friends but one day the germans took over of poland and the frank family had to hid. So anne dad otto had a great plane he had a factory that had a back part to it and the only way to get their is to pass a book self.So anne frank and her family and some friends stayed their for over two years.but one day the germans found out were they were hiding .An that is how the story ends beacuse anne never came back to rite on her diary beacuse she died and this is how the story ends.
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