Number the Stars

image-12Title: Number the Stars

Author(s): Lois Lowry


Publisher and Year: 2011- Charlesbridge Publishing Inc.

Number of pages: 137

Tags/Themes: Danielle Burge, John Newberry Medal, World War II, Jews, Nazi, Soldiers, Copenhagen, Friendship, Denmark

Genre: Novel

Descriptive Annotation: The novel, Number the Stars, is a story about bravery and hope. During the year of 1943, life in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, was challenging and life threatening according to Annemarie Johansen. It was a mix of ordinary home and school life, shortage of food, and the constant authority of the Nazi soldiers. Annemarie tells her younger sister bedtime stories that thematically represenrts different acts of courage. Little did she know those fictional, make-believe ideas running through her mind would save her life someday. When the German troops begin their relocation campaign to relocate all of the Jews in Denmark, the Johansen’s decide to take in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen. They pretend that she is apart of the family, which is an illegal matter in the eyes of a Nazi. One late night, the Nazi soldiers stop by to check on the family but they begin to question why Ellen doesn’t resemble any of the Johansen sisters. Annemarie and Ellen continue to have to think quickly through out the story to persuade the Nazi’s that they are truly sisters. The entire story is through the eyes of Annemarie who is a courageous, prideful girl that would do anything to save the Jewish population. Her quick thinking and selflessness makes her a hero her Danish but her bravery ends up making her one of the many who stand against the Nazis and save her entire community.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: In this book the cultural diversity is the selfish authority of the Nazis over the Jewish Population. The Nazi’s soldiers executed many of the Jewish population in Germany due to the diverse dictatorship.

The language in this book is partially challenging and well suits upper elementary and middle school grades. The content in the book can produce graphic images in the students’ minds, which means this book needs to be read by a mature audience. The book is written in a child’s perspective, which makes it easy to follow and relatable.

Interdisciplinary Connections: I would incorporate this novel into a unit on World War II. We would read the novel as a class during the reading section and then we would journal what we read each day. Then we would relate what we read to the informational text about World War II that we would be learning in our Social Studies class.

Other Information: This book changed my perspective on the logistics during the World War II because it put me in the perspective of a child and the many life-threatening choices that Annemarie made to save her community. It made me open my mind up to other situations and think about what decisions I would have made if I was living during that time period. Overall, I believe this book is a great resource to use in the classroom when teaching the unit on World War II.

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