Before reading this graphic adaptation, I hadn’t read any part of Anne Frank’s diary since I was in middle school. Yet, t took no time at all for me to remember the family’s initial fears and eventual life within the factory’s annex.
Yes, the illustrations are captivating, but I kept thinking, why. Why does this book need a graphic adaptation? (And I know the diary has been made into two films. I have issues with those as well.) Some books are just waiting to be turned into graphic form, but for me, this diary might be best on its own. Folman discusses this in his afterward. He admits that he was very much conflicted with the ideas of representing her words correctly through the artwork and also editing out so much of the her writing. I guess on this one, I just land in the camp of when in doubt, don’t do it. Sure, cut out a soliloquy in Hamlet, or a scene with the Duke and the King in Huck Finn to turn those classics into a graphic novel, but cut out diary entries?
While it may be beautifully drawn and a good option to reach a reluctant readers, I feel it is best to leave Anne Frank’s words on paper and in the form she originally put them in.