Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

My library's summer reading slogan for children this year is "One World, Many Stories." I've been trying to read a few titles off our book list so I can be helpful when kids or parents ask about them. So far, I've read The Breadwinner and now Number the Stars.

Summary: "Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. The Nazis won't stop. The Jews of Denmark are being "relocated," thus Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend's life. There's no turning back now."

Historical fiction comes in many forms. Some texts strain for historical accuracy while others take liberties for the sake of an engaging story. Lowry creates an engaging story while adhering closely to actual events. Readers will gain an appreciation for the Danish resistance during WWII while being swept away by Annemarie's bravery. My great grandfather was from Denmark so I had fun picking up a bit of Danish history. If you know an elementary or early middle school reader who likes historical fiction I highly suggest Number the Stars.

Publisher: Yearling, 1990     Pages: 137
Rating: 4 Stars     Source: Public Library


  1. both my kids read this and it had been on my tbr pile for a while. i finally picked it up last summer and loved it. it is a MUST READ for children of all races and ages.

  2. While I loved these stories as a boy, I'm not sure about how they will be when I read them as a grown man.

    How did you find it?

  3. I read Number the Stars about 2 years ago-I enjoyed it a lot and learned a good bit about Denmark in WWII-very much a worth reading book-I enjoyed your well done post

  4. Pammy Pam, I think Number the Stars is a classic for kids! I'm glad you and yours liked it.

    Man of la Book, I know what you mean. Sometimes, the stories you enjoyed as a kid don't quite meet yours needs as an adult reader. While reading Number the Stars I could see where the plot was going and did not find it too intense. Yet I remember reading similar stories as a young girl and being totally transported by them. For this read, I got enough history to feel like I got something out of it. But I was really reading this text to see what kids might get from it and I find it an excellent WWII story for a young audience.

    Mel, Thanks for the compliment!