Author: Sharon Dogar
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publish Date: September 1, 2010
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?
In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day? What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.
As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?
Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.
My Two Cents:
Choosing to write about any of those that were hidden in the Secret Annex, made famous by Anne Frank's Diary, would have a tall order. Many students (at least here in the States) are made to read the book sometime during their academic careers. For me, Anne Frank's Diary is still one of my most favorite books that I read during school (I actually read it a few times before we read it in class). Anyhow, Anne Frank's renown could have made this book a major fail. Although this book is historical fiction, because Anne Frank is so well known, it would have been incredibly difficult to pull it off.
Oh but does Ms. Dogar ever pull it off! She captures the characters of the people in the Secret Annex so well. Anne wasn't shy when describing her fellow Annex dwellers and Dogar captures them perfectly. Anne seemed incredibly real and Peter himself seems true to life.
As with every time that I read about Anne Frank, I found myself wishing and hoping that things turn out differently in Annexed. Peter as narrator gives a little more insight in his and Anne's burgeoning love and I wanted to hold onto hope that their love would be allowed to fully bloom. I fell in love with the people in the Secret Annex all over again.
Bottom line: If you enjoyed Anne Frank's Diary, this historical fiction does her story justice and is a must read.
4 out of 5 stars