Review: Anne Frank – The Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

Anne Frank: The Graphic BiographyDrawing 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 Colón 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.

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Review

After reading the Anne Frank The Graphic Biography, I firmly believe there’s a time to read certain books. There was always the thought in the back of my mind, certain novels are great at certain ages, but it wasn’t a firm belief. Now I know better.

I read the graphic novel around the time I began National Novel Writing Month and was wondering why my story was making me so depressed. By the second day nothing had really happened. I was still setting things up, putting characters into place, and introducing the fundamental’s for my stories society. There wasn’t a reason to be depressed, but then it hit me. I was reading about Anne Frank during my travels between NaNo events. Of course I’d be depressed.

I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl when I was in my teens. We’re talking roughly fifteen years here. It’s a long time to go without rereading the book and continuing to remember the story. How can someone forget Anne Frank’s diary though? What happened during WWII was atrocious. It’s one of those things were you want to forget some of the details, but you can’t.

I’ve forgotten certain details of how the story was told; timeline of certain events, I forgot about the cat, a few names, but I remember the events and I remember the fear and uncertainty. What’s great about the graphic novel is you get history to go with the atrocious acts, fear, and uncertainty.

Knowing the story of Anne Frank and then reading the graphic novel gives you more insight, but it also implants the horrible images into your mind. I find my brain is already crowded with many human-created atrocities as it is, but now I have the artistic representation of Anne Frank, her family, and her friend’s suffering. The art is done so well and it doesn’t surprise me how many of the images have etched themselves into my mind.

I did love the end too, it tells and shows the life of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, after the war ended. He dedicated himself to his daughter and her writing for years. I already wanted to go to the Anne Frank Museum, depressing as it will be, but now I want to go even more.

If you haven’t already, read Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography (hopefully after you’ve read Anne Frank’s diary). It’s hard to put down, it’s difficult not to be moved, but be prepared to be depressed while you’re reading it.

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