On My Bookshelf: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

October 07, 2019

The plot of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a delicate balance between tender moments between friends and families and the danger that surrounds them. When the Nazis begin rounding up the Jews, Annemarie's family temporarily takes in her best friend Ellen. Annemarie goes to great lengths to protect both her best friend and her own family. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

Why I liked it: Number the Stars like Hitler's Canaryfocuses on the Danish resistance movement which was able to successfully evacuate nearly 100% of Denmark's Jewish population to Sweden by boat. Also similar to Hitler's Canary, it is based on a true story and focuses on the measures young people took to protect their friends.
The plot of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a delicate balance between tender moments between friends and families and the danger that surrounds them. When the Nazis begin rounding up the Jews, Annemarie's family temporarily takes in her best friend Ellen. Annemarie goes to great lengths to protect both her best friend and her own family. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

The plot of Number the Stars is a delicate balance between tender moments between friends and families and the danger that surrounds them. When the Nazis begin rounding up the Jews, Annemarie's family temporarily takes in her best friend Ellen to be later reunited with her parents and escape the country. There's a frightening incident when Nazis search Annemarie's family's apartment and Ellen hides in plain sight by pretending to be Annemarie's deceased sister. Tension mounts again when Annemarie is stopped by Nazi soldiers as she rushes to deliver a chemical covered napkin to her uncle, on whose boat Jewish families are hiding before being transported across the sea to Sweden. Annemarie goes to great lengths to protect both her best friend and her own family.

Classroom application: We chose Number the Stars as one of the six options for our literature circles this spring. While it was our shortest and easiest read of the six choices offered to our students, I didn't dissuade any students from reading it because it is such an amazing story. All six of the texts were set during the Holocaust and WWII and connected to the theme of "decisions that matter." Number the Stars would be a great pairing with Hitler's Canary as both focus on the events in Denmark during WWII but one from a young girl's perspective and one from a boy's perspective. 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Number the Stars for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The plot of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a delicate balance between tender moments between friends and families and the danger that surrounds them. When the Nazis begin rounding up the Jews, Annemarie's family temporarily takes in her best friend Ellen. Annemarie goes to great lengths to protect both her best friend and her own family. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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1 comments

  1. When I taught 6th grade, this was one of my 'non-negotiable' titles. Love it so much, my son's name would have been AnnMarie if he'd been a girl!

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