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Number the Stars Paperback – May 2, 2011
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—The Horn Book
About the Author
Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, Number the Stars and The Giver. Her first novel, A Summer to Die, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine.
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If you've read the Diary of Anne Frank, this is very different. There are some parts that may seem a little scary for younger children but by far, this is the best I've read for young ones. There are no graphic details of the trauma and abuse. While some things are mentioned in a way you get the idea that something bad has happened, its done in a way that is gentle for readers.
The book discloses a lot of interesting facts about life in Coppenhagen during WWII including the food and other shortages. I learned an awful lot about the war in this small European country through reading this book such as:
In 1943, the Danish resistance movement rescued all but 500 of its Jewish population of 7 000 to 8 000 from being sent to Nazi concentration camps by transporting them to neutral Sweden where they were offered asylum.
Denmark surrendered to the German invaders in 1940 as the King, Christian X, did not want to subject his people to a slaughter. He knew his army was no match for the Germans.
In August 1943, the Danes sank their entire navy in Copenhagen harbour as the German’s approached to take the ships over for their own use.
There are some other fascinating historical facts included in this book that I won’t reveal as they would be spoilers.
When the Jews are warned by their Rabbi at the Jewish New Year Celebration that the Nazi’s were going to start rounding them up for deportation that night, Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen are thrown into turmoil as both families act together to save the Rosen’s from deportation and smuggle them to Sweden.
This book is for children aged 8 to 12 years old and is a wonderful way to introduce this age group to the horrors of war in an appropriate way. The book is not at all graphic but it does convey the fear and tragedy that is war.
This book won the Newbery Award.
I loved the fact that the Danes loved their KIng Christian X so much. When asked how he could feel safe going out and riding his horse among them everyday, the answer was that all of Denmark was his bodyguard.
My Grandmother's name was Ingeborg, too, as was the mother's in this story! It may be a children's book, but it is just as good for adults.