The story of Anne Frank is one of the most well-known first-hand accounts to emerge from the Second World War, one telling in intimate detail the persecution suffered by Jewish people in Europe.
The Diary of a Young Girl has been the basis of numerous plays and movies, documenting Anne Frank’s experiences holed-up and hidden in German-occupied Amsterdam.
And now, the story of Anne Frank has been brought well and truly into the 21st century digital age, with an interactive, multimedia-centric book for iPad and Nook, available in the UK only for now, with the US to follow shortly.
Anne Frank has three main components – the diary itself, Story Trails and Timeline.
The diary itself is exactly as you know it (if you’ve read it before), except it includes a series of links to illustrative content, such as photos, videos, maps and additional background information.
For example, you can see a full 3D model of Anne Frank’s home in Amsterdam, which helps to bring the story to life.
The Story Trails section lets you delve into key aspects of the story, linking directly to excerpts of the diary with additional notes and narration on the highlighted segments. This is particularly useful for those wishing to get a good overview of the story, without actually reading the full book – though I don’t think that’s the intention of this specific section.
Similarly, Timeline takes you through an easy-to-follow calendar of key events in the Anne Frank story. There are actually dual timelines, featuring family images from Anne’s life before the war, as well as historic wartime images from international archives accompanied by commentary on key events.
Anne Frank for iPad is everything you’d expect from such an offering – it doesn’t just take the diary and convert it into an iOS app – it uses the full features available for Apple’s omnipresent tablet, and makes it an engaging experience for the modern student or history buff.
That said, some may argue that all the bells and whistles actually distract from the already-compelling story, written by Anne Frank herself.
Indeed, the app may be of particular appeal to children, but adults looking to revisit the story or pick up on it for the first time, should still find value in this app. And this is indicative of the direction many books are going, as we saw recently with the John Lennon Letters app, which also re-imagined the original book version.
Penguin released the app with digital producers Beyond the Story, and charitable foundation Anne Frank Fonds, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day yesterday. It’s available in the UK only, and costs £6.99.
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