As a 14 year old, I read Anne Frank's diary exactly 80 years on. Here's why it still matters. 

The diary of Anne Frank is one of the most famous and best read books in the world, with around 35 million copies having been sold worldwide. Her unapologetic depiction of life as an early teenager under Nazi occupation, and the emotive in which way she takes the reader through the details of life in hiding, is exceptionally moving to read – and is why the book is so popular around the world. 

Midway through her diary, you can find the entries that were written 80 years ago. For example on Saturday 27th November 1943, at 14 years old, she writes about a dream she had about a friend, expressing her wish to see that friend again to know how she's doing. “And I can't help her," Anne writes. "I can only stand by and watch while other people suffer and die.”

The sentiments of this entry can be carried into the world 80 years on, with modern-day conflicts leaving many across the world feeling hopeless, as though they’re standing by, watching others suffer. Anne expresses this brilliantly. She writes in such a captivating way that the reader cannot help but be shaken by the sheer sadness of her situation – and be struck by the insight of her words.

Reading Anne Frank's diary at any age is intense and emotional. But reading it at the same age she was is a particularly stirring experience, and makes you imagine how you would have felt in her position. 

The thoughts and views in her diary are timeless; reading it is like you're with her in that moment, hearing the everyday happenings in her life and her deep introspective thoughts. They are so touching – even comforting to read. As a teenager, you can easily relate. You don't feel alone.

Anne writes of her friend, “why have I been chosen to live, while she is probably going to die?” Why have we been chosen to live our lives of relative privilege, while others suffer in conflict? 

Reading an entry from her diary on the day it was written adds another layer to the emotive experience. Every few days, reading the entry of the day... it's almost as though you're growing up alongside Anne, learning about her thoughts and opinions each day. The reader takes a step back from their day to hear about Anne’s, finding comfort from her insightful thoughts and feeling compassion for the intelligent, empathetic person she was.

Anne's life was cruelly cut short. But eight decades on, everyone can take something from reading her diary. We can all find a friend in Anne Frank.