WARREN, NJ – Anne Frank’s unforgettable diary, reproduced in recent years as an authorized graphic biography, uses detailed artwork to tell the powerful story of the 13- year-old Jewish girl who, with her family and others, hid for two years from the Nazis in Amsterdam before discovery, deportation and her death in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
This new adaptation of the classic memoir – Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón - was piloted last year and introduced this year as part of the 8th grade language arts curriculum at Warren Middle School. And, as a complement to the unit, students recently were invited to attend a production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey at Drew University in Madison.
“The quality of the set and the actors was equivalent to what you might find on Broadway,” said language arts teacher Christine Cirrotti, who with LA teacher Heather Saum and guidance counselor Helen Scully, accompanied 24 eighth graders to the play on November 5. Students paid $35 for the cost of bus transportation and the ticket. Attendance was optional but Cirrotti says the production was enjoyed by all who were there.
“Students were left with the powerful witness of Anne Frank who believed that, despite the terrible circumstances imposed on her by the Nazi regime, there was still hope,” said Cirrotti who cited one of her favorite quotes from Frank’s diary: “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”
Eighth graders also are reading Night by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, an autobiographical account of Wiesel’s horrific experiences as a teenager at the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.