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Anne Frank's Story
By Carol Ann Lee
Read by Barbara Rosenblat

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Anne Frank's Story

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Anne Frank's Story
Her Life Retold for Children
By Carol Ann Lee
Read by Barbara Rosenblat
Blackstone Audiobooks, (2003)
An unabridged recording on 3 CDs
ISBN: 0-7861-9233-X
Genre: Biography, Children's Literature
Other editions: Standard Print (Paperback) | Audio Cassette (Unabridged)

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - August 21, 2003

Anne Frank's diary is one of the most read books in the world. Anne's diary provides an intimate glimpse into the life of a young Jewish girl who died in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration camp at the age of fifteen. Anne's diary begins on the day of her thirteenth birthday (June 12, 1942). It ends abruptly around the beginning of August 1944 when the family was captured by the Nazi's, after having spent just over two years in hiding.

Anne's diary has long offered readers a thorough overview of Anne's life during the years of hiding in the Secret Annex. It does not, however, provide much information about what her life was like before her thirteenth birthday. Her diary also tells nothing about what happened to her after she was arrested and deported from Holland by the Nazi's.

In Anne Frank's Story: Her Life Retold for Children, Carol Ann Lee offers a concise overview of Anne's life. The unabridged audio version of this book runs a mere two and half hours. Although written for children, this book is really for anyone who has read Anne Frank's diary and want to learn more about this courageous girl's life, and the events surrounding her death. This brief biography explores the private side of Anne's life. It talks about her early childhood and how her family came to life in Holland. It portrays Anne as a 'real' person, not just as an unbodied writer. This book introduces you to her friends, her thoughts, and what she did for fun. In short, this book acquaints children with Anne on a level that they can personalize with, and which will give them the ability to empathize with her. In this work, Lee also examines Anne's life during the years she spent in hiding, and after her capture by the Nazi's, and the circumstances surrounding her death. Lee also provides details concerning the fate of Anne's family members, the other residents of the Secret Annex who were captured along with the Frank family, and the brave individuals who helped the family while they were in hiding.

This unabridged audio recording of Anne Frank's Story: Her Life Retold for Children is marvelously read by Barbara Rosenblat. There are a few instances where her voice catches due to the emotional nature of the text she is reading, which helps to heighten the impact of her words. This book is an outstanding example of quality children's literature about the Holocaust. In part because it enables children to begin to understand the impact that the Nazi terror had on real people by allowing them to see the events through the eyes of a peer.

Anne's imprisonment and ill-treatment by the Nazi's is difficult to read or hear about. Nevertheless, it is factual and it is important for children to understand the horrific nature of the events that Anne endured. It is also important for them to learn about the circumstances surrounding Anne's death. This is a difficult subject, but one which Lee tackles with poignancy and discretion. She provides enough information for a child to understand what happened to Anne, without being overly graphic or unnecessarily detailed. This is an exceptional book, one which truly brings Anne Frank to life.

Please note: Carol Anne Lee is also the author of Roses from the Earth: The Biography of Anne Frank. This is a comphrensive biogrpahy of Anne's life, and one which I highly recommend.


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