Cover image for Anne Frank : a hidden life
Anne Frank : a hidden life
Pressler, Mirjam.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Ich sehne mich so! English
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvi, 176 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Describes the background in which Anne Frank's life and diary were set as she hid in an attic in Nazi-occupied Holland for two years.
Reading Level:
1120 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.5 8.0 36905.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.1 12 Quiz: 24245 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS135.N6 F73513 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Anne Frank's diary is an enduring symbol of the tragedy of the Holocaust, and for millions of readers around the world it is also an introduction to a very real girl who becomes a close friend. In recent years exciting new material has come to light that fills in many of the gaps in the familiar version of Anne's diary.Using this wealth of new information, Mirjam Pressler, an expert on the life and writings of Anne Frank and editor of the definitive edition of the diary, depicts a much more complicated girl than readers have previously known--a questioning teenager, a comedian, a flirt, an ambitious writer, and a loving but sometimes rebellious daughter. On these pages the other residents of the secret annex have a fuller life as well, and careful vignettes provide insights that Anne's writings could not. Altogether, Anne Frank: A Hidden Life offers a clearheaded, insightful look at Anne Frank's world that will give readers a new understanding of the girl behind one of the best-loved books of all time.

Author Notes

Mirjam Pressler was born on June 18, 1940 in Darmstadt, Germany. She is the author of several novels that have won awards in her native Germany and also received high praise from critics after being translated into English. In Malka and Halinka Pressler focuses on young Jewish protagonists who have been forced by fate to endure the Holocaust, while in Shylock's Daughter she returns readers to fifteenth-century Italy as she attempts to answer haunting questions surrounding the motivations of characters in a popular play by William Shakespeare. While receiving notice for her novels, Pressler is most well known for her work revising the diaries of Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank, and she is considered an expert on Franks's life and writings. She made the finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2016 in the author category.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-12. For the millions who know The Diary of Anne Frank, this direct, highly readable commentary, first published in Germany, adds crucial background about the Nazi occupation of Holland and the personal lives of Anne, her family, and the other four refugees who hid in the cramped secret annex for two years. It also adds information about their five rescuers--who they were, what they did, why they risked their lives. In addition, this is also a history of the Diary's publication in all its various versions, from the first, in 1947, published by Anne's father, Otto Frank, to the much fuller, definitive version, edited by Pressler in German in 1992 and translated into English in 1995. Pressler's commentary is authoritative, honest, and thoughtful. Careful not to idealize her subject, she shows that Anne was a complex, gifted teenager who was resentful of her mother, jealous of her sister, and desperate to fall in love, even if it meant inventing the image of her boyfriend. Pressler also discusses how Otto Frank censored his daughter's diary for publication; how he cut Anne's intimate descriptions of her sexuality and her sometimes angry remarks about her mother and the others in hiding. One important issue Pressler doesn't get into, however, is the ongoing controversy about why Otto Frank censored Anne's interest in her Jewishness. There are frequent short quotes from the definitive edition, and Pressler also draws on many well-documented sources, especially Miep Gies' Anne Frank Remembered (1987) and Willy Lindwer's The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank (1992). The eyewitness accounts of a "broken" Anne before her death in Bergen-Belsen deny forever the upbeat message some have tried to patch onto her story. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

While the tragically short life of Anne Frank has elsewhere been carefully documented and inventively researched, this astonishing biography succeeds in delivering fresh and provocative insights. Editor of the definitive edition of The Diary of a Young Girl and author of the novel Halinka, Pressler brings to her task a scholar's skill for textual analysis and a novelist's empathetic imagination. Pressler begins by inviting readers to imagine Otto Frank upon liberation in Auschwitz: the exercise reminds readers of what is obvious but easily forgotten, that history is a retrospective art, and that Anne Frank's death and the discovery of her diaries were by no means inevitable. From there, Pressler draws on eyewitness accounts as well as Anne Frank's diary to shape a remarkably clear-eyed portrait of the girl, ending with her death in Bergen-Belsen. Rather than highlighting Anne's idealism, the author examines the tensions in her diary, performing a critical reading of Anne's descriptions of herself and the others in hiding, and analyzing how Anne edited and reworked her diary in hopes of postwar publication. Incisive and vigorously imaginative in its interpretations, Pressler's work could serve as a model for how to read a subjective narrative. The writing is also very personal; Pressler freely shares her strong feelings, sympathies and antipathies ("What I do admit to finding rather hard to take is Anne's arrogance in making her demands on life"). Anne and the people surrounding her are clearly real to Pressler; she teases their lives out of the diaries and makes them real for readers. Photos not seen by PW. Ages 11-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition (Doubleday, 1995), Pressler sought to present Anne as "first and foremost a teenage girl, not a remote and flawless symbol." Here, she continues this quest. Utilizing exhaustive research, eyewitness accounts, and imaginative speculation, the author revisits the hidden world of her subject and voices questions and suppositions about her life. She begins with a heart-wrenching account of the liberation of Otto Frank from Auschwitz, his lonely journey back to Amsterdam, and the deliverance of Anne's writings into his hands. The history and content of the three versions of her diary are carefully explained. The author then turns to the world of the Secret Annex, where Anne's writing reflects not only her development as a young woman caught up in a drama both personal and historical, but also the nature of her relationships to those with whom she was confined. There is a frank and thought-provoking discussion of the adolescent's emotional, spiritual, and sexual development. Finally, the cruel reality of the arrest, deportation, and death is described through chilling firsthand accounts of survivors who knew her. A postscript regarding five previously unpublished pages of the diary is appended. For those readers to whom Anne Frank is more than an icon, more than a diarist, more like a friend, this is a worthwhile book.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.