I'm working this week on a speech about the shifting sands of YA literature (to be given at the Center for Children's Books on March 2, come on down) and the latest news about Anne Frank has me thinking about how central her diary has been to YA. Do you think we would have even had such a flourishing genre of Holocaust memoirs and novels had it not been for that book's impact? I wish someone more knowledgeable than I could tell us if, as I suspect, such books have a longer and richer history in YA and children's than they do in adult books. In this country, anyway--a colleague speculates that The Boy in the Striped Pajamas won more unreserved acclaim in the U.K. than it did here because our young readers expect more sophistication from books about the Holocaust.
The irony of the news of the Franks' attempt to emigrate to the U.S. is, of course, that if they had, there would be no Diary, and thus, no news.