Nonfiction — print. Hill and Wang, 2010. 160 pgs. Library copy.
Don’t make the same mistake I did; this is not the graphic version of Frank’s diary. Rather the book is a graphic biography starting with her father, Otto, serving in World War II and ending with Otto’s death in Switzerland in 1980. When the book does follow along with the diary, it steps back to provide the broader historical context of what was occurring outside the annex.
The illustrations themselves are interesting as they change throughout the novel. Some are translated from pictures of the Frank family and their friends while others are drawn from text when available or the authors own imaginations. Those copied from pictures are grainier and fuzzier than those Jacobson and Colón thought up for themselves. The graphics illustrating the horrors of the Holocaust accurately reflected the differences in the camps and showed the progression of Anne and Margot’s deteriorating health.
Some of the paneling for this graphic biography did not flow properly. There were parts where the dialog straddled two panels but was interrupted by more dialog within the panels. And in other sections were the dialog was written over multiple boxes, I wasn’t sure what the correct order to read the book in was. Some of the dialog seemed misplaced and I would occasionally end up reading it out of order.
However, the book does not replace Frank’s diary and is simply a new way to experience the story of Anne Frank. Many of her poignant observations are not included in this graphic biography. But the historical context does add new depth to the Frank family’s story that people may not know when they start the original diary. The reader is able to understand how and why the Nazi party rose to power and why Frank and her family moved into the annex, which is something I find is lacking for those who use Frank’s diary as the basis of their knowledge on the Holocaust.