Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennet and Jeff Gottesfeld
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 2001 published adaptation of a play Anne Frank and Me from 1997
Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up
Summary: A modern twist on the Anne Frank story. Anne Frank and Me is a wonderful story about a girl named Nicole who goes back in time to experience what it was like to be in occupied France during World War II. As the book starts out Nicole is not really concerned with anything but herself and the boy she likes, Jack. They have a guest speaker in class who talks to them about the Holocaust but Nicole pretty much tunes her out and is paying attention to nothing but Jack. The next day they go to the Anne Frank museum and while they are at the museum there is a big riot and in the pandemonium Nicole bumps her head. When she wakes up she is in Paris in 1942 and she is Jewish. She then goes on to live her life as a Jew, when she went back in time she took the place of a young Jewish girl who was exactly like her, with her friends and even the same sister. As the book progresses she begins to think that her life in America in the future was just a dream and she has belonged here her entire life. It goes on to tell us about her life as a Jew and the things she had to deal with. In the end she is on a train to a concentration camp which is where she encounters Anne Frank and they have a little talk about her diary and her life. They also talk about their future and how they will end up. At the concentration camp Nicole gets gassed with a bunch of other Jews and then she wakes up back at the Anne Frank museum in the middle of the riots. This experience changed her life and the way she thinks about things like the Holocaust.
Personal Notes: I really liked this book. Think more Meg Cabot and less historical required reading. It was a fast and good read, I just couldn’t put it down, and eating was a chore because my husband and I don’t read at the table. So I had to eat my dinner quickly so I could get back to the book. I think this would be a great book for anyone. It was very modern in its style and kept my attention. It dealt with very difficult issues but it did not treat them lightly which might be expected of a book with such a modern style. An interesting twist, Nicole, instead of writing in a journal makes entries on her website and keeps it updated. This also might create interest in the reader because it is something that even if we haven’t done we can relate to. Overall it was a very good book and has the potential to create interest in the Holocaust where interest might not be before.