Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too. 

Title: Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography
Author: Sid Jacobson
Illustrator: Ernie Colon
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Publication Date: September, 2010
Genre/Format: Biography/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: Drawing on the unique historical sites, archives, expertise, and unquestioned authority of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Col√≥n have created the first authorized and exhaustive graphic biography of Anne Frank. Their account is complete, covering the lives of Anne’s parents, Edith and Otto; Anne's first years in Frankfurt; the rise of Nazism; the Franks' immigration to Amsterdam; war and occupation; Anne's years in the Secret Annex; betrayal and arrest; her deportation and tragic death in Bergen-Belsen; the survival of Anne's father; and his recovery and publication of her astounding diary.
What Kellee Thinks: I've been sitting here for a while and I just don't know where to begin. This is a precious book and it is hard to put into words how important it is and how well done it is. I am thoroughly impressed. It will be a great introduction to Anne Frank for many and will hopefully lead them to want to learn more about her and the injustices that happened during WWII. 
     A misconception I had was that I thought it was a graphic novel of Anne Frank's diary. It isn't. It is included, but this is a biography of Anne. It starts with her parents and continues all the way until the death of her father. It showcases Anne's life pre-hiding, during hiding, in the concentration camps and as her father makes sure that her legacy lives on. And it is done with primary sources woven in including Anne' diary, letters and interviews. The book even includes photographs of Anne and her family in the back along with a timeline of the Franks and WWII. 
     Also, throughout the biography, the authors periodically pause to give the reader a snapshot of a certain aspect of WWII that pertains to the story. It helps readers who may not have the prior knowledge of the war and Nazi power. 
What Jen Thinks: I agree with Kellee that this was a very powerful book and I loved that it was a different take on Anne's story because it did not simply retell her Diary in graphic novel form. There is an explanation of what life was like for Anne before going into hiding. I thought the portrayal of Anne and the relationships she had with people in hiding with her was a really unique perspective. It was so interesting to see how Anne was more of a teenager in this book. She seems so young and innocent in the diary but this book helped me imagine her as more of a teenager. It still amazes me how much a graphic novel can bring characters and historical figures to life. It reminded me of some of the emotions I felt while reading David Smalls' Stitches. Another gripping non-fiction graphic novel. I've heard that Jarrett Krosoczka (who is the author/illustrator of the Lunch Lady series) is working on his own autobiographical graphic novel and I am eagerly awaiting that!
Read Together: Grades 5 to 12
Read Alone: Grades 7 to 12
Read With: The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank, Maus by Art Spiegelman, Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto by Paul B. Janeczko, Once by Morris Gleitzman, Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson, Parallell Journeys by Eleanor H. Ayer, Stitches by David Small
Snatch of Text: 

Mentor Text for: Primary sources, Text features
Writing Prompts: Why do you think that Anne Frank's diary has had such an important historical significance? Do you think it was good for her diary to be published? 
Topics Covered: World War II, Holocaust, Concentration camps, Nazis, Family, Relationships, Loneliness, Perseverance 
Kellee *hearts* It:
Jen *hearts* It: 

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