Sharon Dogar, Houghton Mifflin, 2010, 17.00hb, 341pp, 978-0-547-50195-6, 12 and up
Author Sharon Dogar has bravely entered Anne Frank’s annex to tell Peter Van Pels’ compelling story. Readers might be hesitant, as I was, to cross the boundary into such hallowed ground, but it is well worth it. Dogar has fleshed out the account of the families hiding in the Amsterdam attic during World War II and given us another view of Anne, through Peter’s watchful eye. She has taken great care to keep events historically accurate, while at the same time providing Peter with a depth unavailable in Anne’s diary. Dogar tells Peter’s story in first person narrative and begins his tale as he is dying in the camps after being found in the annex. Readers who followed Anne’s journey along in her diary will feel the same pull and compassion toward Peter. This can be read as a stand-alone book, but will work as a wonderful companion to The Diary of Anne Frank. Dogar provides readers with additional information in a preface and author’s note. A list of books, dvd’s and websites is also included, which teacher’s will love.