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Number the Stars Hardcover – April 24, 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 2,078 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark is one of the great untold stories of World War II. On September 29, 1943, word got out in Denmark that Jews were to be detained and then sent to the death camps. Within hours the Danish resistance, population and police arranged a small flotilla to herd 7,000 Jews to Sweden. Lois Lowry fictionalizes a true-story account to bring this courageous tale to life. She brings the experience to life through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen, whose family harbors her best friend, Ellen Rosen, on the eve of the round-up and helps smuggles Ellen's family out of the country. Number the Stars won the 1990 Newbery Medal.

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943, this 1990 Newbery winner tells of a 10-year-old girl who undertakes a dangerous mission to save her best friend. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; First Printing edition (April 24, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395510600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395510605
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,078 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Wolverton on January 9, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First I should say that I work in a bookstore. Since I hadn't read a young adult book in nearly 30 years, I decided to read a few to learn what to recommend to customers. The first one I picked up was `Number the Stars.' It blew me away.
Lowry has written an incredibly moving account of the Jews in World War II Denmark. Annemarie Johansen worries what might happen to her Jewish friend Ellen Rosen as the Nazis capture and "relocate" all Jews. During this time, Annemarie learns about the power of evil, the strength of family, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship. Lowry does a masterful job of showing how Annemarie grows up before our very eyes in the way she interacts with her little sister Kirsti, her friend Ellen, and the ever present Nazi officers. Annemarie learns several lessons throughout the book that she'll never forget. We won't forget them either.
This is an incredibly moving book. There are very few books that absolutely everyone should read. This is one of them.
137 pages
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Format: Paperback
This story is set in Denmark in 1943, during World War II. During that time Denmark was under Nazi occupation. The story tells about the life of two very close friends, Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen, and their families. Living in Denmark during that time was very difficult. Nazi soldiers were on every street corner. There were food shortages and they were required to darken their windows every evening. One day, the Jewish families received word that the Germans were going to relocate all the Jews in Denmark. Since the Rosens were Jewish, Mr. and Mrs. Rosen were takin into hinding. Ellen went to live with the Johansens and pretended to be a part of the Johansen family. A few days later, Mrs. Johansen took her two daughters and Ellen to visit Uncle Henrik. The rest of the story is about the tremendous courage of Annemarie, Mrs. Johansen, Uncle Henrik, and Peter Neilsen and the trouble they endured to help their friends. I really enjoyed this book. It was very moving, suspenseful, and sad. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. I highly recommend reading this book.
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By A Customer on December 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book provides a wonderful opportunity for both kids and parents to read a good story together and study history from a children's perspective.
I always enjoyed reading historical novels, even as a kid, and my daughter, who isn't real crazy about reading, is beginning to change her mind because this story speaks to her. That it takes place in a country she never heard of before isn't relevant.
This is no fairy tale-it's the story of two Danish families, friends before the war, one Jewish and one Christian, who fight the effects of the German invasion of their country and the subsequent attempt to eliminate the Jewish population.
Through the pages of this book, we are given the story of the Rosens and the Johansens, who, on the eve of the Jewish New Year in 1943, wisely act to avert tragedy. The Rosens are blessed by the knowledge that the Nazis are beginning to move in and not paralyzed by fear into inaction. The Johansens are blessed by the knowledge that, as Danes, they could do nothing less but protect their friends and fellow Danes.
There are some scary moments, certainly, but not so frightening that children should avoid this book. Some books can be read without parents nearby; this one I recommend be read either by or with parents because some explanation of history is helpful.
One of the aspects of this book that I particularly liked was how it helps children to think and spot upcoming events.
At one point, for example, there's a reference to the Star of David necklace worn by one of the children. As the German soldiers barge into the Johansen home where the Jewish girl is hiding in plain sight, my daughter exclaimed that someone should hide the necklace before the soldiers find it.
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Format: Paperback
I am studying to be an elementary teacher, and I read this book for a children's literature class. This book was very well written because it vividly shares the reality of life during the Holocaust while protecting young children from many of the details that might be too frightening for them. This book is unique because it gives a child's perspective of the Holocaust, detailing how living circumstances changed and how friends were taken away. I think that every child should read this book because children need to understand that the Holocaust was real and was not just some event in history. We should never forget the tragedy it was.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though I was a child when this book was first published, somehow I managed to avoid reading any Lois Lowry until 2003 (much to the shock of my friends). It was worth the wait. This story departs from the usual World War Two fiction genre by placing the story in a unique setting with a different perspective. Everything occurs in Denmark, and we see the story unfold through the eyes of young Annemarie Johansen. Though she is not directly threatened by the actions of the Nazis that have invaded her peaceful country, her best friend Ellen Rosen is. Annemarie must use her head to save her friend from the concentration camps while endangering herself. I was impressed with the fact that the threat presented by the Germans in this book was made real without relying on gory details. In this way, Lowry has created a book about the Holocaust that is appropriate for juvenile readers. Be warned: There is no perfectly happy ending at the end of this story (the reader is not absolutely certain that the Rosenbergs have escaped and are coming back) but it should satisfy most children. Well worth a read.
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