Sharon Dogar is a children's psychotherapist who lives in Oxford, England with her family. She discovered Anne Frank's diary as a child and the again recently when her daughter started reading it. While writing and researching this book, she spent many hours soaking up the atmosphere of the Annex.
Gr 7 Up-Based on Anne Frank's diary, Sharon Dogar's compelling story (Houghton Mifflin, 2010) is told from the viewpoint of Peter Van Pels, the 15-year-old boy whose family joined the Franks in hiding in an annex in Amsterdam during World War II. The close quarters and rationed food shared by eight people makes life difficult. At the outset, Anne drives Peter crazy with her energy and enthusiasm, but as the story progresses an adolescent attraction takes hold. The two spend a great deal of time together in the attic of the annex and confide in each other their thoughts on the ethnic cleansing of the Jews and what will ultimately become of them. Once the families are betrayed, the story continues beyond where Anne was forced to abandon it. We follow Peter to the concentration camps where he is separated from the Frank women and his own mother and experience life there through Peter's eyes until he, too, becomes a victim of the Nazis. The main narrator pulls listeners in with an urgent and whispery tone that highlights the danger faced by Peter and his family. The full-cast narration is pitch perfect and brings us a vivid sense of each character as an individual, in stark contrast to their lack of individualism in the hands of the Nazis. The narration is one of the best uses of a full cast since Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. Every library should have this audiobook as an example of excellence in narration and because this story of prejudice and hate can never be repeated too often.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"While Annexed does not depend upon a prior reading of The Diary
of a Young Girl for interest or understanding, readers of that
book will appreciate the opportunity to see Anne Frank's story
given a benefit it could not have: hindsight."--The Horn Book,
starred review "Readers are enlightened and deeply moved....Annexed
is a superb addition to the Holocaust literature, and should not be
missed."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Showing equal skill in bringing history to life and in capturing the spirit of a young man searching for his identity amid chaos, Dogar has written a novel as provocative as it is devastating."--Publishers Weekly, starred review "The lines between written record, educated guess, and fictional construct are fascinatingly blurred here. . .made all the more so when readers consider the role perspective, translation, and editing play in the written record. The book's skillful synthesis of all these facets should stimulate discussion about the nature of history, fiction, and truth."--The Bulletin, starred review
"[Annexed] is compassionate and thoughtful, told in a very intimate way. Dogar gets the claustrophobia of the annexe across brilliantly, as it escapes in pointless bickering and petty resentments, but the picture of vital, interesting people with hopes, dreams, loves and ambitions rises equally vividly from the pages. Peter himself is wonderfully drawn: painfully shy, introspective and independent of thought."--The Book Bag (UK)