Being a Namer: Reflections on Anne FrankĀ 

When I was around 10 or 11, I read Anne Frank’s diary for the first time. It was one of those books that I felt deeply. Anne and I were so similar: both young girls who wanted to be writers, both born in June, both loved our parents deeply and yet felt constantly misunderstood by them, both with the middle name of Marie. I remember in the midst of reading it trying to start my own diary- something I’ve never done well- and naming it Kitty, like Anne.

I read the book over and over again, hoping for a different ending, each time heartbroken that history couldn’t change.

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Book Prep: Anne Frank & Adolescence in War

Diary of a Young Girl**Scroll to the bottom and click follow to get updates to your inbox with each new post!**


Before I knew I was awarded the Fund for Teachers grant that’s allowing me to visit all of these places and people, I knew I was teaching a course titled “Bildungsroman” at Odyssey. “Bildungsroman” is one of my favorite words, a German word that often gets swapped around with the phrase “coming of age” but means much more than that. Bildungsroman refers to the growing awareness of the world around us, the loss of innocence as we grapple with sudden complications unaware to a child, and the moral development one seeks on this journey as they navigate to atonement or isolation. As we wrestled with the books that students would read in this vein, Anne Frank’s story, “The Diary of a Young Girl” was an obvious choice. (And partly because I secretly hoped for this grant and knew this book would be built into my schedule to reread!)

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