JUNE 12:

  • Happy birthday Helen Lester (Tacky the Penguin), Hilary McKay (Saffy’s Angel), and Kristiana Gregory (Jenny of the Tetons).
  • It’s the birth date of Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), The Water Babies, Johanna Spyri (1827-1901), Heidi, and Shizuye Takashima (1928-2005), A Child in Prison Camp.
  • In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II of England dedicates “Shakespeare’s Globe,” a modern reconstruction of the Globe Theater, built by the Bard’s theater company in 1599. Read William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki.
  • It’s World Day Against Child Labor. Read Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman, photographs by Lewis Hine and Counting On Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop.

On June 12, 1929, a young German girl was born. Had history played out differently, she might well have been celebrating her 82nd birthday today. Anne Frank lived in extraordinary times—and in recording those times, she ultimately became the world’s most famous young writer.

Scores of books providing supplementary reading for The Diary of Anne Frank have appeared over the years. In 2009 Roaring Brook Press published one of the best, a translation of a book that first appeared in the Netherlands. An elegantly designed edition of about 210 pages—adorned with a cover that wraps around the book—Anne Frank: Her Life and Words in Pictures looks and feels like photo album. And it is just that—of Anne and her family. The album opens with a photo of one of Anne’s best presents, the diary she received on her thirteenth birthday.

Often quoting that diary, the book shows readers a wedding picture of the Franks and Anne and Margot as babies. Because we know the end of the story, every photograph in this family photo album seems poignant and haunting. These two typical German girls pictured will not have a normal adolescence experience.

As we know, the Franks leave Germany for Holland because of persecution of the Jews. The photographs document how year by year Anne ages, plays with friends, has parties, or goes to the seashore. As the text reminds readers, soon these simple pleasures will be denied all Jews.  A series of photos shows the Annex that Otto Frank constructed; pictures display the daily living quarters. Excerpts from Anne’s diary tell us how much she longs to walk outside, to breathe fresh air, to have a normal life again.

By the time August 4, 1944 arrives, when Anne and her family are captured in the Annex, readers of this photo album experience the intense emotions of realizing these people they now know intimately have been caught and will be sent to concentration camps. The photos have brought Anne Frank to life as a real girl.

No book written by a young writer has ever had the impact of The Diary of Anne Frank. Perfect to use with it, Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures extends the text, elucidates it, and adds to reader’s understanding. Produced in cooperation with the Anne Frank House where a million visit each year, this small volume can be appreciated by those who tour the house and those who only can do so by visiting the house website.

Happy birthday Anne Frank. Because of your diary and books like Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures, you are still with us, reminding us of the cost of hatred and prejudice.

Here’s a page from Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures:


Originally posted June 12, 2011. Updated for .

Tags: Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, History, Jewish, Multicultural, Social Conscience, World War II
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures


  1. Sarah says:

    This is the most beautiful and most popular Anne Frank book in our library (and we have loads). We love its small square size, glossy pages, and scrapbook feel. It has so many new images of Anne and her family; it feels like a very intimate look at her life.

  2. Anita says:

    Sarah: Thanks for letting me know this. So many books have been created around Anne Frank; this book truly brings something new to the discussion.

  3. Jen says:

    Wow. Your description definitely exudes the gravity of Anne’ story and her life and how this book makes that real for readers. I’m definitely going to look for this. Thanks for sharing, Anita!

  4. suzi w. says:

    Anita, I cannot wait to read this book. The scrapbook style you describe reminds me of Anastasia’s Album (about Anastasia Romanov.) The cover is so much fun, you see a happy girl instead of that somber picture that is on so many covers of “Diary of a Young Girl.”

    In college I did a research paper on Anne Frank based mostly on Miep Gies book, Anne Frank Remembered. I was so impressed at what a fine man Otto Frank was, and how clearly the book was written. I need to reread the Diary, it’s been too long.

    Thanks as always. Reading about new and old books is my favorite time of day. (And I’ll be checking circulation stats on Tuesday!!)

  5. Thank you for mentioning this wonderful book in your tribute to Anne Frank. I think it’s one of the very best among the many books about AF. I have a good friend who was born in Berlin, fled to Amsterdam as a child, and was deported to Bergen Belsen. Shortly before her family’s liberation in Jan. 1945 due to a rare prisoner exchange, she helped Anne’s friend Hannali throw a bundle of clothing over a camp fence to AF on a frigid winter night. Today, at age 80, Irene Hasenberg Butter dedicates her life to peace. Thanks again for your lovely tribute to AF and bringing this elegant book to the attention of your many readers.

  6. G.Perry says:

    I found the story of Anne Frank so painful that it was shattering. It makes me unhappy a child needs to read about her but the world is what it is, and children must know about these things. They must know what humanity is capable of at its worst.

    Oh how I wish there weren’t things like this we have to tell them. But wishes don’t protect them. The facts do.

  7. Books lover says:

    I love this book

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