There are certain moments in history that may not seemed to have changed lives, but they did. In 1945, an average ten year old boy received on his birthday not a gun, like he had hoped, but an acoustic guitar. In 1937, a plane flew over a small peaceful city and killed 400 people as they were buying bread and fruits at the market. And in 1942 a freshly turned 13 year old girl ripped wrapping paper off a birthday present from her parents–a diary.
That little boy became known later in life as “the king,” selling millions of records and changing the future of rock n roll forever. Those bombs falling out of that plane onto the innocent town inspired the rage in Pablo Picasso to paint his most famous painting, “El Guernica.” And Ann Frank has touched the lives of so so many people by what she had written in that very special diary.
When Anne and her family were taken to the concentration camps in late summer 1944, the people helping the Frank family hide had gathered up loose papers and Anne’s diary for safe keeping until they could give it to her after the war. Anne’s Father was the only one who survived. When he returned, he came to the house and received the diary from the family:
“Otto Frank later commented that he had not realized Anne had kept such an accurate and well-written record of their time in hiding. In his memoir, he described the painful process of reading the diary, recognizing the events described and recalling that he had already heard some of the more amusing episodes read aloud by his daughter. He saw for the first time the more private side of his daughter and those sections of the diary she had not discussed with anyone, noting, ‘For me it was a revelation … I had no idea of the depth of her thoughts and feelings … She had kept all these feelings to herself’. Moved by her repeated wish to be an author, he began to consider having it published.” -Wikipedia
When I myself was 11, I received a diary from my aunt for christmas, which has inspired me to continue to write, even now, 17 years later. Even just searching the library’s catalog for “diary,” I’ve come up with a ton of books. My favorite out of all of them though, is probably “365 Days” by Julie Doucet. Julie not only writes in her journal each day, but makes it fully animated with cut outs from magazines, doodles, and serious drawings of things that happen to her. Instead of talking about going to the market to get food, though, she talks about the movie they’re making out of one of her books, which just happens to be a diary, too, of her time in New York!
I also enjoyed the diaries of Anias Nin, because she makes ones everyday life seem interesting. Check it out (it comes in volumes!)