Performancing Metrics

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Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Pages: 352

Ages:  Young Adult

Publishers Summary: Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day? What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.

Peter van Pels was a sixteen year old boy with his entire life ahead of him. That is until everything was ripped away from him first by the placement of a seemingly simple star on his jacket and then later by the Nazi’s in death camps. His story happens along side the famous Anne Frank, the girl whose story lives on through every reading of her diary. Annexed is not an exact occurrence of what happened to Peter, but a possibility and more than anything an exploration of the feelings he may have experienced. It’s another reminder that we are all human, all equally frail and strong in so many different ways, but each with an innate desire to live and love.

This was an extremely difficult story for me to read. Had I thought more upon my acceptance of this particular book I may have decided against it. Not because it isn’t well written or a story that doesn’t need to be heard, because it is well written and it does need to be heard. But primarily because it’s deeply saddening to think on these horrible acts committed against other human beings. People with lives, hopes and dreams.

Though this is a work of fiction and may not be exactly what occurred between Peter, Anne and the others in the Annex Sharon Dogar did an excellent job creating an incredibly believable setting and story. Peter was so real. From his first love to his relationship with his newly annexed cohabitants, his feelings are raw and there for the world to see. His relationship with Anne was also something else I enjoyed watching grow from an annoying pest to a confidant and friend. It’s difficult to imagine the atrocities and struggles each of these characters went through, but I believe Dogar has achieved just that and made these characters come to life.

Annexed is definitely a book I would recommend to all those who enjoy reading historical fiction. Sharon Dogar’s research of the setting and characters make the story incredibly real and believable. I’m also positive that those who are interested in Holocaust related literature will find this book to be very engaging. Peter’s life as well as the life of those he shared it with during those last few years was wrought with emotion, from each extreme. This is a book I’d highly recommend and has left me haunted days after having finished it.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14 and up. Historical fiction at it’s finest, especially for those interested in Holocaust related literature.

Please take a look at the book trailer for Annexed as it contains notes from the author that I feel greatly enhance the reading of the book:
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This book was provided for review by FSB Associates. Follow them on Twitter here. Thank you!
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7 Responses to Book Review: Annexed by Sharon Dogar

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pam van Hylckama , Stephanie and Danielle Smith, Danielle Smith. Danielle Smith said: Book Review: Annexed by Sharon Dogar http://bit.ly/bOZZmi […]

  2. Ricki says:

    This is a beautiful book. A must read.

  3. Excellent review. At first I thought I would pass on this book but the more reviews I read, the more I think I should break down and read this.

  4. Katie says:

    Annexed sounds so, so good! I really think teachers could get a lot of mileage out of it in the classroom, too. I need to find this one…

  5. This is one I have been wanting to read too!

  6. Jackie says:

    I just read Annexed, actually listened to the audiobook which was done by a wonderful cast. Peter’s voice, his thoughts, his questions about religion, his struggle to discover who he really is as everything around him is stripped away, moved me greatly. I was always interested in Peter after reading the diary of anne frank and I wondered about how he felt about things when the only view we had of him was through anne’s somewhat judgemental teenage eyes. Sharon Dogar gives Peter a voice every bit as powerful as that of Anne and a very believable voice for a teenage boy. I am amazed by the criticism’s of the book being “sexed up.” I found the tender scenes of two teenagers thrown together very believable and not at all demeaning. The final scenes in the concentration camp had me in tears. Peter has done all he can to survive, things he is not proud of, he wants to survive to tell his story, to honor his father, but he cannot and he dies at the very time of liberation…his final haunting question is one everyone should ask themselves…are you there? Are you listening?

  7. hello&bye says:

    Such a wonderful book,i loved it soo much.I belive that anyone who likes too read,i would read this.Well enjoy the book,and i really think 6th & 7th graders should read this book……

    Sincerly:____________ ________________ 🙂

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