Number the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Book, 1989

Barcode

123457381

Call number

J 736 LOW

Collection

Publication

Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989.

Description

In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

Media reviews

Carousel
Jan Mark (Carousel 15, Summer 2000) Morally speaking, Denmark had a 'good war' after it surrendered to the Nazis in 1940. Notably absent from factual and fictional tales of derring-do, the very real heroism of its civilian population is celebrated in Lowry's quiet but stirring story, based on real
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events, which tell of one family's successful bid to send their Jewish friends to safety in neutral Sweden. Instead of comic-strip heroics with implausible intervention by implausible kids, she gives us a situation in which children must be included because they cannot be excluded, fearfully endangered but willing parties to an ethical struggle. The happy ending is entirely credible, even to those old enough to know what might have happened instead. Category: Older.
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1 more
Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 1989) Ten-year-old Annemarie, living in occupied Denmark during World War 11, must test the limits of her own courage when she and her family assist their Jewish friends in their escape from the Nazis. Flawlessly interwoven into her personal account
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are details of the historic and heroic Movement in which Denmark, as a nation, successfully resisted the attempts of the Nazis to exterminate Danish Jews. With their varying degrees of knowledge, each character represents a model of courage in a fast-paced story about individual and collective response to evil. Honor book, 1989 CCBC Newbery Discussion. CCBC Category: Fiction For Young Readers. 1989, Houghton Mifflin, , $12.95. Ages 8-12.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Cait86
This book goes straight to my list of top reads for the year, and is another fantastic example of children's fiction that confronts heavy issues head on. Lowry writes about the Holocaust in a way that is accessible for children, and still moving for adults.

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is the
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protagonist of Number the Stars, a short novel set in 1943 Denmark. Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, is Jewish; up until now, the Nazis, who occupied Denmark from 1940 until the end of the war, had left Danish Jews alone. In October of 1943, however, word was leaked to the Jewish community that they would soon be "relocated" by the Germans. Like many Danish families, Annemarie's parents and uncle plan to send their Jewish friends to safety in unoccupied Sweden. Soon Annemarie is called upon to demonstrate her bravery, as she must play a role in saving the life of her friend.

Lowry places Annemarie in a realistic situation - Annemarie does her part to help Ellen and her family, and the role that she plays is one that suits a ten-year-old. I really dislike it when characters in children's novel act like adults, but in Number the Stars Annemarie has thoughts typical of someone her age. She is scared by Nazi soldiers, and knows that Ellen's situation is serious, but that does not stop her and Ellen from laughing and having fun too. She struggles with the idea of courage, but learns that being afraid does not make one a coward - instead, being courageous is taking action despite being afraid.

Number the Stars was a wonderful book for a very rainy, grey day - it is a touching book about courage, friendship, and hope, and is sure to bring the reader some sunshine.
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LibraryThing member melydia
It's interesting how many novels about the Nazis are written from the point of view of a child. This is no exception: Annemarie is a 10-year-old girl living in 1943 Copenhagen, which Germany invaded years before. Her best friend Ellen is a Jew, and one day her parents flee to avoid "relocation."
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Annemarie's parents take in Ellen and have her pose as their daughter. There's quite a bit of tension every time the Nazis show up; I doubt I could have been that calm in the face of such danger at that age. Don't skip the afterword, which explains what parts of the book were based in fact; a surprising amount of details and twists turn out not to be just clever literary devices. It's a good glimpse of history, and unlike most books written about this time period, I didn't cry even once. Which was a nice change.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
This 1990 Newbery Medal award-winning book is stunningly powerful. The title is taken from Psalm 147
"The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem;
he gathers in the scattered sons of Israel.
It is he who heals the broken in spirit
and binds up their wounds,
he who numbers the stars one by one"

The setting is 1943
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and Nazi occupied Denmark where, while there is a shortage of food, heat and clothing, there is no shortage of fear and terror wrought by the invasive German soldiers.

Using the historical backdrop of the bravery, courage and sense of moral imperatives demonstrated by the Danish people which resulted in saving the lives of at least 7,000 Jews, Lowry provides a story strong in character, fortitude and resistance.

Highly recommended!!!
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is set in Nazi occupied Denmark and tells the story of how the country sprang into action to save their Jewish population when word got out that they were about to be detained. From the actions of the Resistance, the Danish police, the fishermen and the general
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population many were saved.

This book concentrates on one family and is told through the eyes of 10 year old Annemarie, as she and her family help their neighbours escape to Sweden. By focusing on this small aspect of the greater story, we are drawn into the emotional aspects of this event. As Annemarie learns and shows what bravery is, we experience the terror, the suspense and the hope that she did

Lois Lowry won a well-deserved Newberry Award with Number The Stars in 1990. She has delivered a inspiring story that shines a light on a little known historical event and effortlessly manages to show through one family’s decency and kindness how a nation responded to help a segment of their own population.
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LibraryThing member LaurenAllard
Number the Stars is about a girl named Annemarie who lives in Denmark during World War II and the German occupation. Her best friend is a girl named Ellen whose family is Jewish. When they discover that the German soldiers are coming to "relocate" all Jewish families, Annemarie's family takes in
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Ellen as their own daughter to hide her from the soldiers. They also send Ellen's parents with a close friend to hide them as well. They all meet up at Ellen's Uncle's house, along with a few other Jewish families. They are taken to Ellen's Uncle's fishing boat, and he takes them across the sea to Sweden where they can be free.
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LibraryThing member Kiwiria
Very sweet book showing a snapshot of life in Denmark during World War 2. It was rather odd to read such an accurate account in a "foreign" book, but at the same time, I was almost proud that the Danish resistance was deemed interesting enough to be recorded by somebody outside Denmark.

It's a very
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quick read - took me no more than an hour - and obviously targeted towards children. For all that though, it was a very poignant book, and captured the atmosphere (as portrayed in other books... obviously I wouldn't know myself) very well. Actually, in style and atmosphere both it reminded me a lot of my favourite WW2 novel - "Karen Kurer" by Estrid Ott. "Karen Kurer" is aimed at a slightly older audience though and unfortunately hasn't been translated to English.
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LibraryThing member TadAD
This young adult novel is set during 1943, when the population of Denmark banded together to smuggle the Jewish population of the country to neutral Sweden ahead of the Nazi roundup. 95% of the Jews in the country were moved to safety (another 4% were eventually rescued from the death camps). Lowry
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based quite a bit of the story on actual events and individuals.

This isn't the best book to be awarded the Newbery Medal; the story feels a bit lightweight, particularly in respect to the feelings and spirit of the non-Jewish population. However, it's not the worst either with the fairly typical profile for a Newbery book—smooth reading, sympathetic characters, strong moral message.

Perfectly suitable for the younger end of the YA spectrum.
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LibraryThing member RobertaRogers
This story is place in the year of 1943. The story is about a little girl who is brave. She is living throught the time where Nazi soliders were present on every street, shortage of food, and strict rules. She is best friends with a Jewish girl and one night she had stayed with them while her
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family was in hiding as well. The Jews had to into hiding because the Nazi soliders were capturing them. The day after her friend stayed with her they took her to their uncle's house in the country. That day they played outside and noticed that Sweden was across the sea. When night came Jews were smuggled into the uncle's house and then hurried through the forest and placed on boats. Nearly 7000 Jews were smuggled to Sweden for freedom!

I absolutely loved this book. The way the author used descriptive words made me think I was in that time period.

I would read this story aloud to older children. I would read a chapter or two at a time. It would be a great accessory to a history lesson over Nazis and Jews.
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LibraryThing member SylviaSmile
A beautifully written story of friendship, family, solidarity, and courage, this book details the story of Annalise and her friend Ellen during the time of the Nazi occupation of Denmark. When the Nazi regime is about to begin taking the Jews into custody, Annalise's family must work together to
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smuggle Ellen, who is Jewish, and her family into Sweden. What makes this story so powerful is all the details: the gold Star of David necklace which Annalise rips off of Ellen's neck as the Nazis search their apartment, the smell of fish by the seaside, the unevenness of the path over which the refugees must travel to the waiting ship. Since this story never descends into graphic detail of the fate awaiting the Jews who are caught, I can recommend it to readers as young as 8; I would say 8-13, but even older readers will appreciate this book.
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LibraryThing member ValerieStanley
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie and her friend Ellen Rosen live in a world filled with school, food shortages, and Nazi soldiers marching through town. Ellen goes to live with Annemarie and pretends to be one of the family. Ellen is Jewish and Annemarie
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learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis. This was a good little story. It is heart breaking to think that many of people lived like this once upon a time. This book really makes you think about what you have and what you think are "problems". I am sure they are nothing compared to what these two young girls went through.
This is an upper level book and could be used as a bases to a report on the war that is covered in the book.
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LibraryThing member Euphoria13
Number The Stars is one of my all time favorite books. Although its short, the story does not lag in content nor in dialogue. It is filled with interesting characters, such as Annemarie Johansen, the protagonist. In Number The Stars Annemarie is a young girl who lives in Copahegen during WWII. Her
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life becomes acustom to the changes that the war brings. But one of the changes that happens in the story, is not one that anyone can get used to. The "relocating" of jews.

Annemarie's best friend is Ellen Rosen, who is a Jew. On th day of the Jewish New Year, many jews are discovered by the lists of their residence from the synagogues that they attend. Ellen and her parents are one of the many who are in these lists. As a way to help them from being discovered by Nazi's, Annemarie's family decide to help them. Ellen's parents are taken to a secure place by Peter, Annemarie's almost Brother-In-Law. A young man of nineteen.

As for Ellen, Annemarie and her little sister and mother take her to the countryside of Denmark, by the sea. It is there that they hide Ellen at Uncle Henrik's cottage. A beautiful story of bravery and courage set during a time of danger, resistence, and fear. Reading this story again reminded me how much i admire all of the survivors and heroes of WWII and the Holocaust. As well of why i enjoy learning and reading about this time period.
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LibraryThing member michirenee87
Summary: During World War II, the Danish people try to smuggle in as many Jews as possible to rescue them from the Nazis. Ellen is one of these Jews, and she is taken in by the family of her best friend, Annemarie. This story tells of their courage, and is a true testament of friendship between two
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girls who will do anything to keep one another safe.

Reflection: What a touching book. I couldn't put it down. I'm not much of a history person, but my grandfather was a Nazi soldier, so I'm often drawn to stories about the people during World War II. Not only is this a great book that is historically accurate, but is is also a great story of friendship.

Extension Ideas: This would be a good time to do some team-building activities. It would be neat to visit a ropes course, and do some trust games and team-building challenges. It's a great way to teach the children about how important friendships are. Another idea would be to have the children share with the class about their best friend, and maybe share a hardship they've been through.
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
Ten-year-old Annemarie learns about bravery as she helps to save her Jewish best friend, Ellen, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Many children's authors try to blend education with entertainment, but the resulting works are often predictable and filled with stereotypical characters. This book shows how
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well it can be done. Lois Lowry skillfully weaves history, geography, and moral education into a story that will both thrill and inspire young readers. Highly recommended to readers of all ages.
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LibraryThing member kellidenise
This novel is about a young girl and her family during the Nazi reign of Denmark. Annemarie is a 10 year old girl with a Jewish friend named Ellen. When word reaches Annemarie's family that the Nazis are "relocating" all Jews, her family courageously helps Ellen's family escape to Sweden by way of
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boat. As a 10 year old girl, Annemarie is confused by the lies and deceit that her family must use to help the Jews, but must trust that she is also being protected. Annemarie must decide if she is brave enough to help Ellen and do what is right to save her friend. She also finds out how far her older sister and fiance were willing to go to set Denmark free.

I read this book when I was younger, but forgot about it until I picked it up in the library. As I read, I remembered parts of the story and couldn't put it down. I especially liked the part about the young boy stating that all of Denmark is the King's bodyguard. I liked the Afterword section too that describes what is fact and what is fiction about this novel. It gives insight as to what kinds of lengths the country were willing to go to in order to do the right thing for their friends and neighbors.

This book would be an excellent start to studying the Holocaust. It can be incorporated with others such as The Diary of Ann Frank. After reading and discussing several books regarding the Holocaust, older students can write a story from their point of view on what they may feel if they had been a child during that time period.
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LibraryThing member mmuncy
Number the Stars is a very moving book about the Holocaust and a little girl’s discovery of bravery. Annemarie Johansen and her Jewish friend Ellen are childhood friends growing up during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Ellen’s family, the Rosens, gets word at synagogue that the Nazis are
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planning to relocate all of Denmark’s Jews. Ellen comes to stay that night with the Johnsens. Annemarie’s father explains to the girls that if anyone comes at night they are to be sisters. He tells the girls he does not think anyone will come, but late that night soldiers come to search their apartment. The soldiers bring the whole family, other than Annemarie’s sleeping five year old sister Kirsti, into the living room. They do not believe that Ellen is a part of the family until Annemarie’s father pulls out pictures of his daughters, including his deceased daughter Lise, who happened to have dark hair as a baby. The soldiers leave, but the Johansens know that Ellen is not safe and will have to leave. The next day Annemarie’s mother, Inge, takes Annemarie, Ellen, and Kirsti to visit Henrik, Annemarie’s uncle. While there they tell the girls that they are going to have a wake for Annemarie’s Great-aunt Bertie. Annemarie realizes that she did not have a Great-aunt Bertie and knows something else is going on. People start coming in for the wake. Eventually soldiers bang on the door demanding to know why so many people are gathered. Inge tells the soldiers it is a wake; they demand she open the casket lid. Thinking quickly she tells them that the doctor thought her aunt may still be contagious after having died of typhus but of course she will open it. One of the soldiers hits her and then they leave. That night the people who attended the wake were taken to Henrik’s boat. In the morning Annemarie finds a package that was supposed to be taken to Henrik. Her mother who was injured, tells her that she must take the package to Henrik. Annemarie bravely follows her mother’s orders and after a run in with the soldiers, delivers the package to Henrik.
I had read this story in elementary school. I had forgotten what a good story this is. This is one of the books that I will be reading to my own kids in a few years.
This is a great book to use with a unit on the Holocaust. I think one good assignment would be for the students to do research on either Denmark, Sweden, or King Christian X and give a report to the class. I think in school we are taught the very general dynamics of what went on during this time, but I feel like we learn very little about the countries and leaders during this time.
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LibraryThing member sarah-prebble
This story takes place in Denmark in 1943 during the Nazi control over Europe. Annemarie and Ellen are best friends and the only difference between them is that Ellen is Jewish. Ellen goes to stay with Annemarie’s family when Ellen’s family has to flee from the Nazis. Since Ellen resembles
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Annemarie’s sister Lise that passed away the family passed off as one of her sisters when the Nazi's came to their apartment..

I was impressed with the courage that such young people can have. Also, I was surprised how Lise did not die in an accident, but while she was working with the Resistance. The kindness and risk that the Johansen’s portrayed shows how kind the human spirit can be.

This would be a good introduction to a history lesson over the Holocaust and World War II. Also, you could have your students write a short paper about how this story was a test of courage and bravery.
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LibraryThing member jebass
Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen are 10 years old and living in Copenhangen, Denmark during the Nazi occupation. There are the obvious trials of military war-time occupation; there are soldiers on every corner, food shortages, no butter or cream, and Annemarie's little sister
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balks at the idea of having shoes made from fish. When the Nazis start taking Jews from their home, Jewish Ellen moves in with the Johansens in their apartment, ultimately leaving with them to the seaside to stay with Annemarie's uncle. One evening, with much confusion from Annemarie, she is called upon to perform a very important task that could be the difference between safety and danger for her best friend. It's an absolutely beautiful book, which would serve as a fantastic starting point from which to build a lesson about WWII or military occupation.
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LibraryThing member crimson_idealist
Summary: Annemarie has to be very brave to help save her friend Ellen during the German occupation of Denmark during WWII.

Evaluation: This is another wonderful example of how an author brings history to life. You see the German occupation of Denmark through ten-year-old Annemarie's eyes, and you
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feel her fear. You watch as she grows and is able to be brave enough to save her Jewish best friend Ellen and her family. It's a beautiful story.
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LibraryThing member Khoffy
A historical fiction novel that discusses World War 2 and the internment of Jewish Europeans. It will help young readers understand the hardships of the Holocaust, particularly how it may have felt for non Jews to lose their Jewish loved ones. It shows the actions that people took in order to save
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their friends.
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LibraryThing member ctpress
It was really strange to read this book in english, about a well-known Danish story from WWII. About the danish population who hid and helped almost all of the danish jews in nazi-occupied Denmark in october 1943, around 7.000, to escape to safety in neutral Sweden.

A story that is worth telling in
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a Childrens story, and it is done well, but for me it lacked a lot of historic information to ground it more in reality. Also the events are romanticized a great deal. One has also to look to the fate of the german jews in Denmark to get a more balanced picture of the "heroic Danes”.

Wisely enough we only follow one of the stories from “the great escape” - and not from the point of view of a jew, but from one girl who becomes part of the suspenseful flight. Her perspective on the war and people is forever changed.
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
The book is written from the perspective of a child living in Denmark, Anne-marie, whose family helps to shelter Jews from the Nazis. As with most other books concerning the Holocaust/WWII, I am awed by the bravery of the Jews and those who helped them and shocked at the brutality of the Nazis.
LibraryThing member genevieve1331
“Number the Stars,” by Lois Lowry is a story about two young girls and their situations during the Halocaust in Denmark. The story takes place in Denmark in 1943 and is told from the voice of ten year old Annemarie. Annemarie and her best friend Ellen, who is Jewish, begin to notice drastic
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changes in their hometown with the nazi occupation. Due to the growing threat, Ellen’s family is forced to flee Denmark and leave Ellen with Annemarie’s family as she poses as their daughter. After many close encounters with the nazis, Ellen’s family is finally reunited in Sweden with the help of Annemarie’s family and members of the nazi resistance group. The war ends soon after and Ellen’s family plans to return back to their home in Denmark.

I remember reading and being moved by this book in fifth grade. Although difficult for a young mind to understand such tragedy, Lowry does an excellent job portraying such a horrific event to the young reader. The characters in this book show great courage and despite fear stand up for what they believe in, which can be an excellent example for children today.

After reading this book, children could write a journal about when they stood up for a friend or cause even if they were scared. This would also be a great addition to a Halocaust unit in the classroom. After reading this book, the Halocaust could be discussed and more history of the event could be given, perhaps followed by some sort of research project. The class could organize a school wide project like collecting one penny to represent each Jew killed in the Halocaust to show people the severity of the event.
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LibraryThing member jessica.kohout
Annemarie Johasen is a ten year-old growing up in Nazi occupied Copenhagen who must learn the effects of the Nazi occupation on her family and Jewish friends. Annemarie's family risks their lives to help their Jewish friends escape to neutral Sweden, including Annemarie who learns about the cruel
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world and about her own strength and courage by doing so.

Winner of the John Newbery Award, the plot of Number the Stars is consistent with the values and spirit of the time. Lowry reveals in the Afterword what inspired her while writing this book as well as its reflection of what was happening in Copenhagen at this time. The Danish Resistance and the people of Denmark were able to save the lives of the 7,000 Jews living in the country during that time by smuggling them to Sweden. Denmark's belief in taking care of its people was illustrated throughout the novel as Annmarie is inspired by standing up for and taking care of fellow Danes in the face of adversity. She is specifically inspired by the story of the the King and his willingness to protect his people and how many Danes were willing to die for him, including her father and mother. Her father tells her of the story of a young man who tells a soldier that all of Denmark was a bodyguard for the king and Annmarie concludes that she believes "that all of Denmark must be bodyguard for the Jews, as well" (p.25). The plot continues to show the heroic acts of the Danish people and Annmarie finally learns that her older sister died because she was a part of the Resistance. Her entire family, including Annmarie, risk their lives to save their Jewish friends. Annmarie is happy to help and looks forward to the day when she can be reunited with her best friend that had to escape.
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LibraryThing member Johnab1288
During WWII, Denmark was invaded and ran by the Germans. The Germans sought out all of the Jews and were shipping them off. Annemarie and Ellen are best friends in Denmark during the 1940’s. Annemarie has to find courage to help Ellen’s Jewish family escape to Sweden. Annemarie helps face the
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Nazi soldiers with courage.

Good book, great story of courage that includes Jewish history during WWII. I think that since this book is told by a child that it will be easier for children to understand.

1. Illustrate a scene from the book.
2. Study WWII
3. Discuss the title of the book. Where did it come from?
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LibraryThing member MsLangdon
Part Cc Historical Fiction
Lowry, L. (1989). Number the stars. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell.

Annemarie Johansen is a ten-year-old girl living in Denmark in 1943 during World War II. She knows that things are different than they were before the war--no more butter or sugar, and most of all,
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German-Nazi soldiers on every street. One day, when her best friend, Ellen Rosen, a Danish Jew, and her family are warned that they will be relocated, Annemarie and her family are faced with the challenge of being courageous and brave to help their friends.
Lowry’s blend of fact and fiction within this story of friendship is sure to captivate the interest of readers. The afterword provides great historical details that support the story and its believability. The depiction of Annemarie and her family show the strength and attitudes of the people of Denmark and their resistance of the German occupation.
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Original publication date

1989

ISBN

0395510600 / 9780395510605
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