Being Frank with Anne review by Christian Reader
Being Frank with Anne: A Poetic Tribute to Anne Frank
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Historical Nonfiction

Student Review

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Age at time of review - 22
Reviewer's Location - Yucaipa, CA, United States
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Anne Frank, a normal, everyday Jewish girl, is one day forced to hide away from the Gestapo, a skewed police force taking most of her friends away. Anne Frank tries her best to survive amidst arguing family and nosy neighbors. This retelling is of her story and her everyday life and how it abruptly changes, with one small twist on the original true tale: every page is only filled with stanzas of poetry. Anne’s description of hiding from the Gestapo in her home brings a unique telling of life in 1940s Germany.

Opinion: 

I tried to read the original book – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – when I was in high school, but I only got a few chapters in before losing interest. I never tried to read it again due to my great dislike of what I read the first time. In comparison, this retelling of the classic true story actually caught my eye. I love poetry and wanted to try this book out to see if it was any more compelling to read or easier to understand than Anne Frank’s original tale…and boy, was I glad I made that decision!

This book filled with poetic prose is absolutely wonderful. The author’s understanding of poetry is superb – never rhyming the stanzas or lines, the author puts a jaunty lilt to her words, and with a simplicity of language choice, the writing gives off this feel of childishness that perfectly encapsulates Anne Frank’s personality and age. The lovely choice of free verse fills every page of this tome, and while some slant rhymes can be found here and there, most of the stanzas don’t rhyme. Meter and rhythm change with every poem – some poems are short but feel slower-paced, whereas others are long but move quickly.

As the book progresses, the childishness seems to slip away as Anne Frank is forced to grow up quickly and understand the horrors happening around her. The writing style changes ever so slightly that it isn’t extremely noticeable at first, but once noticed, it is hard to overlook. Anne Frank changes as a person and the writing style takes on a dynamic, changing tone in concordance with Anne Frank’s personality change and maturation.

Personification is used frequently and helps each poem take on a new meaning. Alliteration is used sparingly but is exemplified very well when it is used.  Metaphor and simile are used properly and frequently and are a joy to behold in this tome. The imagery is absolutely fantastic throughout the entire novel.  Figurative language truly helps the reader see the story come to life. Each poem tells a chapter in Anne Frank’s life story, and each one paints such a vivid picture that it is easy to envision her life unfolding in front of one’s very eyes.

Overall, I sincerely loved this book. With superb writing and engaging poetry, this novel holds a special place in my heart. It made me love this story which I once wasn’t a fan of, and I plan on keeping this lovely book of prose in my collection for many years to come.

Rating:
5
Content Rating:

Content rating - some mature content

Explain your content rating: 

There are some slightly scary scenes of hiding from the Germans in the walls of a house and some clearly frightening imagery is seen when the Gestapo are involved, but other than these few instances, the book is not too horrible in terms of content. Quite a few family spats happen, and dysfunctional family dynamics are seen. Sickness is prevalent and dealing with such a disadvantage in a closed-off space is constantly mentioned and described. Violence, stressful circumstances, and life-and-death situations are clear and present elements in this novel. No cursing can be found within the pages of this tome. Anne Frank is Jewish, so many Jewish customs and talks of God and pertaining to God’s blessings are frequently noted, particularly in the latter half of this novel. Parents/parental guardians, teachers, and/or librarians might perhaps wish to look this book over before giving it to a child/student, particularly if the child/student is more sensitive to any of the previously mentioned materials.

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