Anne Frank, by Janice Ho - Young Writer's Competition 2017 Final

Janice Ho

Voting is now open in the 2017 Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writer's Competition, sponsored by Bookazine. This piece about Anne Frank by Janice Ho, a Year 9 student from DBIS, has been shortlisted for the final, along with two other entries.

The annual competition once again saw lots of great submissions from secondary students living and/ or attending school across Lantau, who were asked to write an account from the perspective of a famous historical figure.

Congratulations to all the participants, and good luck to our finalists!

To vote, head to the Around DB Facebook page and comment on the pinned post at the top of the page, with the name of the author, or the title of your favourite story, or alternatively, click 'like' on the individual Facebook post linking to your favourite story. You can also cast your vote by commenting below the story on the Around DB website.

By Janice Ho - Year 9, DBIS
Mentored by Sharon Lesley le Roux


Friday, 4th December 1942

Dear Kitty,

Today is the first day of Hanukkah since we went hiding.

This year, it was pretty much the same as always, but here in the attic it’s a little bit more cramped. We couldn’t celebrate with any of our family friends, but I guess they had their own celebrations in their own homes. This year, we ate Roast but it wasn’t the best, it was a bit dull, and didn’t have enough spices in it. I noticed we were missing Mummy’s delicious potato pancakes. When I asked her when they’d be done, she said, ‘We don’t have enough ingredients to make potato pancakes’. At first, I was upset, they were one of my favourites, but during the meal I completely forgot they weren’t there. I was just happy to be spending time with my family.

I didn’t get any big presents either, but instead I got some more paper and pens. Daddy said we couldn’t light up our candles, he told me we’d lost our candle holder. But later, when Margot asked, he said he didn’t want the Nazi guards to smell the candles burning and find us. I don’t get it, why can’t Daddy treat me like everyone else! I get that I’m the youngest, but I’ll be turning 14 next June!

Anyways, it’s getting late. Mummy and Daddy said I shouldn’t stay up past nine o’clock, and it’s lights out at nine-thirty. Goodnight Kitty!


Tuesday, 21st December 1943

Dear Kitty,

It’s now our second year of celebrating Hanukkah in hiding. These days just keep getting worse and worse! Last night, I had a nightmare about a girl falling from the sky. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, and as she got closer to the ground, she got louder and clearer. Just as she was about to hit the ground, I woke to the sound of a bomb exploding. I wasn’t quite sure where, but it was close! I jumped every time a bomb dropped. I was in shock, not knowing where and when they would land.

The first time I heard a bomb, I jumped and screamed, but Daddy quickly shushed me up, he was scared people were going to hear me and we’d all be in trouble. Daddy ran over to my bed and gave me a comforting hug which helped me calm down a bit. He told me everything was going to be all right and there was nothing to fear. I couldn’t go to sleep for the rest of the night, all I could feel were tears running down my cheeks. I was so scared.

Today, I didn’t do much but sleep. Mummy woke me up for dinner, and as I was walking towards the dining table, I noticed an odd smell - sour and strong. Mummy looked a bit nervous, almost white-faced. I asked her if she was okay. She said she was fine, but then I saw why she was nervous. I saw some pork on the table instead of Roast or potato pancakes. Part of me wanted to curl up into a ball and cry, but at the same time, I was so hungry! I haven’t eaten properly these past few months, and the pork started to look so delicious even though it smelled so strange to me. Everyone was refusing to eat it, and I just stayed quiet.

Mummy was trying her best, explaining to everyone that it was the only way for us all to survive under these conditions, that it was all we had left to please our tummies. Daddy then said something that made everyone quiet. He didn’t shout it, he said it in his normal voice. He said, ‘God is forgiving, and he will forgive us for doing this’. A few minutes of silence passed, then Mummy took a small bite of her pork. I remember exactly how her face looked, it was like she was seeing a ghost. Sitting two seats away from her, I could see she was feeling so much pain and guilt. One by one, we all ended up eating the pork.

It’s getting late now, I should go to bed. Good night, Kitty.

I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Photo: Portrait of Janice Ho by Baljit Gidwani -

You can read the entries from the other two 2017 finalists via the links below:

Harriet Tubman, by Sienna Bertamini - Young Writer's Competition 2017 Final

Josef Mengele, by Kayla Lee - Young Writer's Competition 2017 Final

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