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Number the Stars Paperback – May 2, 2011
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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Top customer reviews
While the backdrop is true, the specific characters that the story centers around are fictional. They are engaging and draw us into the story. The author's prose is very understated, and she conveys in a few sentences what many cannot convey in entire pages.
My older children, ages 8 and 6, enjoyed listening to this story as a read-aloud. They were also fascinated by the Danish people's smuggling away to safety the Jews. They, like me, were intrigued by how the Danish resistance fooled the Nazi search dogs. They identified with the emotions of young Annemarie as she too tried to help the Jews.
I would definitely recommend this book for elementary and middle-school children. The actual reading level is approximately 4th-6th grade, but younger children could understand it as a read-aloud. And the author does not talk down to the reader, so it's appropriate for those above that range as well.
The basic outline and plot of the story makes you think, where in a lot of books, I'm just too excited to read it, and then I can't focus on the quality of the story. Another common thing I noticed in this book, is that humor plays a big role. Whether it's funny to you, or just an author joke, I had to laugh at least once.
When I got the book from my dad, I thought it would be one of those informative stories, where all they list is facts about the solar system and how the stars are placed. So not TRUE. Turns out most of the book consists of passages that I would stay up on a school night to read.
AnneMarie is much more than a passive observer of grown-up events in this book, and as the story builds to a climax she has to play an absolutely key role in helping her friends. I was fascinated to find out that what I thought was a slightly far-fetched plot device (involving a handkerchief) towards the end of the book turned out to be a true-to-life fact which played a big role in the true story of the escape of the Jewish population of Denmark to Sweden. (This was explained in an afterword to the story). I have read many Holocaust books but was unfamiliar with the story of the Danish Jews, so this book was very educational for me as well as for my daughter.
This book has action, suspense, well-developed characters, and will give young readers a much better feel for the horror that was the Holocaust than any dry textbook description. "Must read" is a cliche, but one that happens to be true for this book.
Written about a young girl who is forced to be very brave to protect many others fleeing for refuge in another country, it sets a great example to young people about acts of selflessness and courage.
The only problem I had is that the Kindle edition is full of translation to e-book spelling errors. I think there must be at least 20 which is really a shame given that it is being read by a younger audience. For that reason, I have given it 4 out of 5 stars. The storytelling and writing is 5 stars but the editors should have been more careful before publishing this e-book.
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