Facebook and Anne Frank: New take paints famous diary with 2020 vision – The Jerusalem Post


A terrific book has been added to the canon of books related to Anne Frank, the German-Dutch teenager who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis during World War II.The latest, by celebrated author Brad Meltzer, is called I am Anne Frank and is the 22nd book in his “Ordinary People Change the World” series, a collection that has included the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Billie Jean King and Sonia Sotomayor.Over 3.7 million books have been printed since Meltzer and artist Christopher Eliopoulos created the series in 2014. Meltzer believes the magic in the books lies not in his writing but in the accessible stories and beautiful illustrations that are a hallmark of the series.For the Jewish Meltzer, this book is his most personal to date, and the first one that is centered around the subject’s religion.In each of the books in the series, Eliopoulos includes an illustration of Brad hidden within, Where’s Waldo?-style. But in I Am Anne Frank, for the first time, Brad is depicted wearing a kippah. The book I Am Albert Einstein also has a Jewish protagonist, but in that book, Einstein’s religion was not emphasized.When I asked him why, Meltzer told me. “As someone who is Jewish, it was important for our readers to know, they now have a friend who’s Jewish. This is why I asked Chris to draw me with a yarmulke in this one.”This book has many valuable lessons for children, particularly during this time of political unrest and increasing intolerance and antisemitism.

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Meltzer shares many important tenets from his Jewish faith in I Am Anne Frank, including the popular Jewish saying that to save one person is to save the world. According to Meltzer, this reminds each one of us that “wherever we’re from, we have a responsibility to one another.”In much the same way, social media have the power to change the world. Recently, Facebook and Twitter announced they will ban posts denying the Holocaust, a ban that was well past due.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the ban is “supported by the well-documented rise in antisemitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”Zuckerberg’s comments come nearly 70 years after Otto Frank released his daughter’s diary.Said the elder Frank at the time: “I hope Anne’s book will have an effect on the rest of your life so that, insofar as it is possible in your own circumstances, you will work for unity and peace.”These words from Otto Frank are relevant today more than ever.I hope social media giants continue to heed Frank’s message and spread unity and peace rather than hate and denial. The writer is a film and musical director for the American children’s television show My Hebrewland and the Kosher Barbie character.I am Anne Frank
By Brad Meltzer
Dial Books
40 pages; $7.99





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