Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book 16: Nonfiction

Rubin, Susan Goldman. (2009). The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal's Search for the Truth. New York: Holiday House.

Textbook Chapter 11

Subgenre: Biography, Nonfiction, War,

Possible Curriculum Connections: Middle School Unit on the Holocaust

Book Summary: Simon Wiesenthal, a Polish Jew, was a survivor of the Holocaust. He was within minutes of losing his life on two separate occasions in the concentration camps he was in, but was spared because of his artistic ability and by what he calls miracles. As a result, Wiesenthal spent the rest of his life trying to hunt down Nazi war criminals and see that they were punished according to the law. One of his most famous and most passionate cases was tracking down the Gestapo who arrested Anne Frank. He felt very passionately about this, as some Europeans believed that Anne Frank never existed, and that she was just a pretend martyr for the Jews. After years of searching and going down the wrong path many times, Wiesenthal got a break and found the soldier who arrested Frank's family. He admitted to arresting her, but he was not charged because there was no proof that he did anything against the law. Wiesenthal was disappointed with the results, but he was proud to have set the record straight that Anne Frank was real.

Personal Reaction/ Why Teens Would Want to Read this Book:
I personally love to read nonfiction, and especially biographies. This one was exceptional! Although it was not very long, the biography goes into great detail about Wiesenthal's experiences in the concentration camps, without being too graphic. The book also portrays a real life mystery of sorts, and teens would be caught up in trying to figure out who the actual man was who arrested Anne Frank. Students will be able to relate to Anne Frank's story, as well, and the book could be a good discussion starter about history's truths and how sometimes cultures like to ignore bad things about the past.

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