By Isabel Sánchez Vergara
When 7 years ago, I started writing the very first book of Little People, BIG DREAMS, I made myself a promise: always tell children stories with a happy ending.
It did not matter if the character had gone missing while flying over the ocean like Amelia Earhart. Or if the heroine had been a victim of radiation from her own experiments like Marie Curie. In the end, they were all heroes whose dreams came true and we were going to celebrate it.
Therefore, when my publishers and I decided to write a book about Anne Frank, I got a lump in my throat. I knew that I was about to face the most difficult biography of the whole series.
Anne burst into my life when I was eleven or twelve years old. And she did with violence, changing the unicorns’ horns, the fairies with glittery wings and the princess customs for hideouts, arrests of innocent people and a new, dark and visceral fear that I had never felt before: the fear that my life would come to an end from one day to another. Not in the witches’ hands that offer you poisoned apples or dragons that burn you with their flames, but in the hands of the unthinkable: another human being.
Anne dreamed of being a writer. What she never could have imagined is that the three notebooks she had written and left behind would end up turning a 13-year-old girl into one of the most relevant figures in the 20th century. The person I never met who had the biggest impact on my life. And I’m sure that many people I know would say exactly the exact same thing if I asked.
We all get older when we read Anne Frank’s diary. But we also become wiser, humbler, more tolerant. We become better people. So, is this a story with a happy ending then? I’d like to think so
About the guest editor
Isabel Sánchez Vergara, is a writer and creative director from Barcelona, Spain. She is the author of much of the Little People, Big Dreams series. Each book from the series tells the childhood story of one of the world’s female icons in an entertaining and conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, allowing them to identify with the characters in each story. You can find out more about the Anne Frank edition of the series here: http://bit.ly/2NtW6Nw.