Book Review:The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal’s Search for the Truth
by Susan Goldman Rubin; illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
Holiday House, 2008
ISBN 13: 9978-0-8234-2109-1
Cybils MG/YA Non-fiction Nominee
This is not, as the title and cover art suggest, the story of Anne Frank, but rather a picture-book biography of a famous Holocaust survivor and “Nazi hunter,” Simon Wiesenthal.
The book opens with a crowd of Holocaust deniers disrupting a theatre performance of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl in 1958. The incident prompts Wiesenthal to embark on a quest to come up with definitive proof that Anne Frank did exist, which he aims to do by finding the Gestapo officer who arrested the Frank family years before.
This book recounts not only Wiesenthal’s five-year-long search for the man, but also his personal Holocaust story, which is a remarkable tale of survival. Not only does Wiesenthal manage to survive the harsh concentration camp conditions, he narrowly escapes death by firing squad on three separate occasions! Once rescued, he makes it his lifelong mission to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and to educate people about the Holocaust.
The Anne Frank Case is generously illustrated with oil paintings by Bill Farnsworth. The dark and emotional artwork complements the sober tone and subject of the text perfectly. The end matter provided is excellent and includes detailed source notes, a bibliography, and glossary.