Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tales from the Secret Annexe by Anne Frank

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 8th 2010 by Halban Publishers

Tales from the Secret Annex is a  complete collection of Anne Frank's lesser-known  writings: short stories, fables, personal reminiscences,  and an unfinished novel. Here, too, are portions  of the diary originally withheld from publication  by her father. By turns fantastical, rebellious,  touching, funny, and heartbreaking, these writings  reveal the astonishing range of Anne Frank's  wisdom and imagination--as well as her indomitable love  of life. Anne Frank's  Tales from the Secret Annex is a  testaments to this determined young woman's extraordinary  genius and to the persistent strength of the  creative spirit.

I bought this book last year when I visited the Secret Annexe in Amsterdam. It was one of my most memorable trips for many reasons, but standing in the same place where Anne hid, wrote, and lived was something that I will never be able to put into words. Walking through the building, climbing the stairs, going behind the bookcase... it was amazing. If you ever have the chance to go, do it! 

In this book, you are able to see more of Anne's personality. I have a feeling that if she and I had been friends, we would have gotten in quite a bit of trouble! I couldn't help but think that my students would love to hear from her in these short stories and excerpts. This could be used in a history class when teaching about The Holocaust and what the Jews endured or  in an ELA class you could use it as an paired text when teaching using her diary (either the full text or the play version that some textbooks include) or as a journal writing exemplar.

I laughed, cried, got mad right along with Anne, and went through every other emotion right along with her. I cannot wait for my students to get to see Anne in another light through these stories. I will say that when this book was put together, they definitely saved the best for last! 

Here is the view (minus the cars and modernization of course) that Anne viewed from her window when she could. Pictures, of course, don't do it justice!

Happy reading!

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