Sure, The Diary of Anne Frank is a great way to teach students about the Holocaust. But it's no secret that it's hard for young people (and old people, for that matter) to talk about death, war, and genocide. So think how much harder it is to discuss when it's not just facts and figures being thrown at them, but names and faces. Students will get attached to Anne and to her story, and it will be tough to let her go.
Even more importantly, we have to remember that we're talking about a kid here. So how do you broach the difficult topic of children's traumatic experiences during wartime? Unfortunately, Anne is neither the first nor the last of such young beleaguered protagonists, and her poignant and articulate search for recognition both as a Holocaust victim and evolving adolescent place her in some incredibly complex young company.