Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review: Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780547501956

Source: e-book provided by NetGalley


We are all familiar with the story of Anne Frank and the years she and her family spent in hiding.  This book takes a look at what Peter might have experienced while there.  What was he thinking and feeling being trapped there with everyone as he slowly falls in love with Anne?  Not only that, but his story takes us into what happened after - at the death camps.

Things I Liked:
The second part of the book, the part about the prison camps, was much more powerful to me.  It had a stronger punch, even if it was based on fewer "facts" about Peter.  I did like how Dogar was able to create the atmosphere of suffocation and uselessness of being in hiding and unable to do anything.  How dreadful it was to live there, and yet how they felt bad for hating it because they were alive and technically free.  I thought it was also interesting how they wondered if Anne's depictions of them in her diary was accurate.  I found the book interesting, but not quite the same as the real thing, ie Anne's diary.

Things I Didn't Like:
I found myself a little bit bored with the first part, especially when Peter was feeling sorry for himself or just lying around in bed dreaming of Liese.  Essentially, I didn't much care for the depiction of Peter at all, however accurate it might have been.  I definitely prefer to read Anne's own words, since she's more of a character I like and her vivacious personality was the most interesting part of the first half.  I know lots of other people have enjoyed and loved it, so it could just be my own reactions to the book.  It did definitely made me want to read Anne's diary again.

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

s-factor: !@

mrg-factor: XX
Peter thinks about girls a lot, but it's pretty discrete

v-factor: ->->
the privations, violence, and plain horror of their inhuman treatment

Overall rating: **

Anybody else read this and enjoyed it as much as or more than Anne's version?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I agree - Dogar did not make Peter out to be very likeable. Anne's definitely more interesting. I think, more than anything else, this book made me want to re-read Anne's diary. Like you said, she's much more of a personality.

  2. Susan, I totally want to read her diary too. She was much more entertaining :)

  3. I think I liked it quite a bit better than you--see my review on my blog at The fourth Musketeer (here is the link if anyone is interested

    I haven't read the original since I was in junior high or high school---MANY years ago, but I felt this book stood on its own as a compelling Holocaust story. I was particularly impressed that she had the CHUTZPAH to re-imagine this story, which is practically like the story of a saint in Jewish holocaust literature (I gave Dogar my own Chutzpah Award for Young Adult Literature!). I was fascinated by the backlash in the Jewish community about the "sexing up" of the original, as well, which was much more mild than what the critics, who I don't believe had read the actual book, made out.

  4. Um, is now a bad time to admit I never finished reading Anne Frank's diary because I hated it?

    I was trying to decide if I was interested in trying the story from another perspective.... Probably not.

  5. Fourth, I enjoyed your review - it is always nice to read opposing viewpoints and try to understand why they felt that way. I didn't much like the sexual additions, though they weren't as much as the critics were saying. Still, I did enjoy the way she depicted life stuck in the Annex and in the camps.

    Britt, shocking! :) I'm not sure I remember much from reading it, but I sure enjoyed seeing plays of it.


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