Anne Frank: The Young Writer Who Told the World Her Story
Author: Ann Kramer; Consultant: Dan Stone
Pages: 64
Publisher/Date: National Geographic/2007
ISBN: 1426300042
Age Levels: 8-12

Book Review

Note: National Geographic World History Biographies™ is a series of illustrated biographies for children ages 8 to 12. The individual books are stunning—highly readable, entertaining, and visually spectacular. Make room on your library or classroom bookshelves for these top-notch, non-fiction titles.
Divided into four parts, Early Years, An Ordinary Life, The Secret Annex, and Discovery and Deportation, this detailed and dramatic biography vividly brings to life Anne Frank, perhaps the most famous teenager in history.

Kramer does a fine job of chronicling Anne’s early and adolescent years. But it is the small, daily details that she so adeptly weaves through the text that make Anne’s brief life all the more real to readers. "After school and on weekends, the girls [Anne and her sister], together with other friends,"
played hopscotch and rushed about doing handstands and cartwheels. They called for each other to come out and play by whistling through the mail slot. Anne could not whistle, so she sang instead. There was a craze for keeping poetry albums. Friends wrote poems in each other’s albums and decorated them with pictures.
Too, Kramer paints a compelling personality portrait of the vibrant, chatty, inquisitive young girl with well-chosen excerpts of Anne’s diary and anecdotes from relatives and friends. Hanneli Goslar, a childhood pal, notes, "My mother, who liked Anne, would say, 'God knows everything, but Anne knows everything better.'"

Throughout the arc of Anne’s story, historical details are deftly incorporated, offering readers context and a fuller picture of life in Europe both prior to and during Hitler’s rule. We learn, for example, that in November, 1938,
. . . in what became known as Kristallnacht (the Night of the Broken Glass), organizations such as the . . . SS destroyed 7,500 Jewish businesses, set fire to synagogues, burned sacred Jewish books, and vandalized Jewish cemeteries. Jews were attacked and beaten: 91 died and 26,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
Well-captioned full-color and black-and-white photographs abound, as do fact-filled sidebars. A timeline runs along the bottom of each page, showing the evolution of what would become known as the Holocaust. The glossary and bibliography are both helpful and informative. A thorough index is also included.

This is one of the best biographies we have read about Anne Frank. It is perfect for the report writer as well as the casual reader.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2007 Education Oasis

About the Author

Ann Kramer has an honors degree in history and has worked as an author and editor for more than 30 years. Her children's history books include Eleanor of Aquitaine and Mandela in the National Geographic World History Biographies series, Women and War, and Women and Politics. She lives in East Sussex, England.


The following Web sites are devoted to Anne Frank and her story:

Anne Frank-Fonds

Anne Frank Center USA

Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam