I am Anne Frank

Dial. (Ordinary People Change the World). Oct. 2020. 40p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780525555940.
Gr 2-4–In the newest addition to the “Ordinary People Change the World” series, Meltzer tackles the story of Anne Frank with mixed results. The simplistic storytelling method addresses the key points of Anne’s story while using a heavier hand to place emphasis on hope and kindness. The text provides explanation of the Holocaust and the treatment of Jewish people during World War II while staying true to Anne’s diary, often using direct quotes when she is shown writing. Anne is the narrator throughout, but the book ends with many speakers discussing Hitler’s defeat, Anne’s death, and the discovery of her writing. As with previous titles in the series, the book’s illustrations depict the main characters as very young children throughout their lives, which in this case creates a jarring and potentially horrifying look at a family’s experience with the Holocaust. While Anne Frank’s story has great importance and relevance, this book pairs wartime atrocities with casual cartoonish art in a way that may strike some as inappropriate.
VERDICT Educators may find that the frightening nature of the story is not handled in a way that would be suitable for the target audience. For a more sensitive approach, try Jeff Gottsfeld’s The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window.

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