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Number the Stars

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  492,135 ratings  ·  14,294 reviews
Librarian's Note: For an alternate cover edition of the same ISBN, click here or here.

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 ”r
Paperback, Yearling Newbery, 137 pages
Published September 1990 by Yearling (first published April 24th 1989)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  492,135 ratings  ·  14,294 reviews

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Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i was clearing out my closet over the weekend and found a box of old books that i read as a kid!

i originally read this when i was about 10 years old and i can tell you that, at that age, there was no way i understood the depth of horror and severity of the holocaust. and i wouldnt have been exposed to that in this story as its rather on the tame side (if thats possible for such a tragic event in human history). i just remember really wanting to be like annemarie, wanting to be the type of friend
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The second of the books that we listened to on my recent multi-generational, girls road-trip, was 'Number the Stars'. I could not have chosen better. This story was suspenseful, educational and deeply emotional. With an age range of 5 years-old to 88 years-old in the car, this book managed to hold all of attention.

Like most readers, I've read plenty of books set during the WWII era. Some were graphic and shocking in their descriptions of the horre
i read this in hardback, when it first came out, and i'd say it was probably the reason i became addicted to WWII/holocaust literature/history at such a young age.

i think it helped that i was so young when i read this, as imagining a ten year old standing up to nazis was something remarkable, but imaginable for me. i loved annemarie, i identified with her in ways i can't really explain. i read this book again and again, and it never changed. there are scenes burned into my memory: the fake fune
Ahmad Sharabiani
Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

Number the Stars (1989) is a work of historical fiction by American author Lois Lowry, about the escape of a Jewish family (the Rosens) from Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II.

The story centers on ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen, who lives with her family in Copenhagen in 1943.

She becomes a part of the events related to the rescue of the Danish Jews, when thousands of Jews were helped to reach neutral ground in Sweden in order to avoid being relocated to conce
4.5 stars for this jewel. One reason I enjoy historical fiction is the educational aspect; learning about something for the first time. This is not your typical WWII/Holocaust book. This one tells the story of how the Danish people, after their small country was invaded by Germany, smuggled nearly the entire population of Jews (7,000) across the sea to Sweden, saving them from deportation and almost certain death.

The story is told through the eyes of 10 year old Annemarie Johansen, and how her f
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
As part of a children's book readathon I am hosting on my blog, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry was voted as a winner in the poll. We assigned this stellar Newbery Medal winner to this week and have been sharing all our reviews. Normally I'm not a fan of reading literature that delves into this subject matter, but given it was written for young adults / children, I thought it would be less painful. While it was definitely less harsh than a few other books I've read on the topic, it was still quit ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written Historical Fiction story which I believe was written for children and yet adults may well find it such a worthwhile and enjoyable read as well

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
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
C. S. Lewis famously wrote something to the effect that a children's book so bland and simplistic that it could appeal only to children probably has nothing of much real worth to offer to a child reader, either. He was right; the best and truest (in the sense of Mary E. Wilkins' Freeman's comment that "All fiction should be true") stories written for children speak just as profoundly to adults. This book is a powerful illustration of that reality. At 137 pages (counting the Afterword) of fairly ...more
Janete Fabricio ON  SEMI HIATUS
I loved this book. I didn't know the Danish Resistance had smuggled about 7,000 Jews during World War II, transporting them to Sweden hidden in private boats, at the risk of being arrested and killed by the Nazis. Read it along with Scribd audio to improve my English learning. ...more
I know- I can't believe I'm just now reading this. What kind of a children's librarian am I?

This is a nice little story about a family who smuggles some Jewish friends out of Denmark during the Nazi occupation in 1943. I always avoided reading this because it looked depressing, but it wasn't. It wasn't a light story, but it didn't have the horrible scenes that fill most holocaust books.

However, the author's note at the end affected me deeply. I don't know a lot about my Danish heritage- I've alw
Chris Horsefield
Lowry doesn't waste a word in NUMBER THE STARS, starting with Annemarie and Ellen's frightening run-in with German soldiers in the opening chapter. In quick strokes, Lowry establishes the setting and characters and foreshadows Annemarie's subsequent encounters with soldiers, each of which increases the tension. The symbol of stars weaves in and out: When the crowd of escaping Jews gathers, they are comforted with the words of Psalm 147: "O praise the Lord ... he who numbers the stars one by one. ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please visit my blog for reviews on children's books like this regarding the Holocaust and WWII

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a book I read years ago. It's historical fiction but highlights the horror of WWII. It's a meaningful story that demonstrates what friends will do for each other when in need.

This is an easy chapter book for middle grade students and older. I have recently re-read it as an adult and was captivated once again.

Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful novel for young readers about friendship, love, courage and fortitude.
In 1943 the Nazis have occupied the peaceful little country of Denmark, ten year old Annamarie Johanssen and her family live through the deprivation and fear of Nazi tyranny. The Jews of Denmark are being rounded up and sent to death camps.
Annamarie's best friend Ellen is taken in by Anna marie's family but the Nazis become suspicion of Ellen's dark hair contrasted to Annamarie and her sister's silver blond hair.

Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody!
Number the Stars Bantam Doubleday Dell,1989, 152 pp., $5.99
Lois Lowery ISBN 0-06-447073-3

“Annemarie looked up, panting, just as she reached the corner. Her laughter stopped. Her heart seemed to skip a beat. ‘Halte!’ the soldier ordered in a stern voice ” (2, Lowery). And so begins Lois Lowery’s Number the Stars. When I first began to read Number the Stars a few years ago, I found that I could hardly get passed page three without dozing off. Recently, I had a friend tell me I should giv
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I had to read this one to fit a challenge I was taking part in – had to find a book set in Denmark, and my options for that were slim. I’m happy I chose this classic children’s story – it left a positive and lasting impression on many for a good reason. It mainly focuses on Annemarie Johnansen and her parents helping another family during the dreadful Nazi period in 1943. Apparently her uncle is part of an underground support group for Jews in the area as well. Despite it being such a dark perio ...more
Sarah Grace Grzy
So cute! Not quite what I expected, but still super sweet! <3
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy WWII stories
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa Vegan
What a wonderful quick read, we wanted this to be longer!

Set during WWII this exciting story follows the lives of two young Danish families. One family is Jewish and it becomes unsafe for them to stay in Denmark.

We really enjoyed meeting these girls, we loved the character of chatterbox Kirsti and enjoyed hearing her tell off a soldier! When we read of the Danish scientists invention to help the Jewish people escape (view spoiler)
this was one of my very favorite books when i was a kid, and simultaneously the scene where the child protagonist has to go through the woods at night alone in the pitch dark gave me a recurring nightmare in which i was doing the same and then i looked over at a pile of logs/branches/etc. to see the wicked witch of the west's eyes peering out from between two, a sight that petrified me so much that i saw it every time i closed my eyes for years to come.

this is not the only recurring nightmare i
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ☮Karen by: Britany
Yes the target audience is young adults but I as an old adult found it an amazing and educational story of the Nazi occupation of Denmark.

From the Afterword, a part of a letter written by a young man from the Resistance to his mother, on the eve of his execution:

"You must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudice one."

I'm all for human decency, anytime, anywhe
Lisa Vegan
This is a safe, easy way for children to be introduced to a little of what happened during the holocaust. When I was growing up, one of my mother’s friends was from Denmark (she traveled back there once a year), and she was very proud of how her homeland had behaved during World War II. I really enjoyed this book and thought of Edna while reading it.
Allison Tebo
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
A delicately written and touchingly poignant book. Several moments made my eyes well-up (how I loved that dear Papa!). As usual, a child’s viewpoint is one of the most gripping and beautiful ways to tell a story set in WW2 as we are gaze with the bland honesty and persistent spirit of youth at something unthinkable. This combined with the writing style creates a deeply resonating story of heroism and the reality of being normal in a world gone mad. This is a story of ordinary people doing extrao ...more
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
This is an excellent introduction to WWII and the Holocaust for children ages 10-12 because it tells the inspiring story about the heroic Danes during the occupation of their country by the Germans. During the occupation, the Danes smuggled almost their entire Jewish population of 7,000 Jews to Sweden via boats. This story is told through the example of one Danish family and their involvement in the resistance and the risks they took in helping Jews escape to Sweden.

I learned something new in t
Oct 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Is it just me, or do most books about Jewish girls during World War II suck? I'm serious, it's like this book and "Summer of my German Soldier" were written with the same purpose in mind: educate students about the Holocaust in just about the most boring way possible. Thank God there's the History Channel, or else my generation would've have thought the Holocaust as if it were simply a story about little girls and their twisted lives. I'm probably overexaggerating a bit, but ut's the best way I ...more
Paige  Bookdragon
I rarely read classic books nowadays. Seeing as my mom's idea of educational learning was to shove classic books down my throat (note: The first novel I finished reading was The Complete Sherlock Holmes and I was fucking eight years old) I have to say that it's understandable if I steer clear of classics for awhile.

The last classic novel I've read is this book. Mom is devious. She wrapped this little shit with a vintage wrapper, stashed it under my bed and asked me to clean my room because it re
Camilia  Hornstein
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book, Number the Stars written by Lois Lowry is very interesting yet enjoying to read. It talks about a girl, Annemarie, in Denmark living in the time period where the Nazis had taken over. Annemarie is not a Jew but her best friend is, this story focuses on how Annemarie and the resistance are trying to smuggle them to Sweden without getting caught. In the process, we learn about many real historical facts about what it was like living in that time period. For instance, in Denmark, all the ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five glorious stars! This book was incredible!!! Lois Lowry did an excellent job of writing a WWII book and make it for a younger audience! But honestly anyone can enjoy it! Just the themes throughout this book and diversity is beautiful! Lois Lowry is probably one of my new favorite authors cause I enjoyed The Giver and I enjoyed this, so I'm bound to enjoy other books by her! ...more
Pooja Bhoi
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-pages
I am destined to love all the books about WW-I and WW-II.

The story gave insights on how people lived in Denmark around that time. With simple language, the author has succeeded in making beginners about WWs understand what was the scenario back then.

The idea of drugged handkerchief was new to me.
The German were so desperate to catch Jews that they brought hunting dogs into the picture, 'who could find out a person by smelling a dried fish'. So this drug was made of rabbit's blood and cocaine, t
Story takes place in 1943, Nazi occupied Denmark, we follow story of ten year old Annemarie and her best friend, Ellen, who is jewish.
This is story all about what danish people did to protect their jewish friends and neighbors. Its a short story but still had a great story line. Reading about Holocaust is always incredibly sad no matter if the story has a happy ending or not.
Melanie  Brinkman
Not all fights are won with swords and shields.

Ten year old Annamarie Johansen's life isn't the same anymore. In 1943, Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school time, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. Heroes and and bravery seem like the stuff of fairy tales.

But when the German troops march through the streets and begin their campaign to "relocate" the Jews of Denmark, things get even scarier, especially for Annamarie's best friend Ellen Rosen. The Jo
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owls-2020
I forgot how sweet this book was! I read it about 3-4 years ago with my 5th grade class and really enjoyed it. I decided to read it again for a challenge, and I’m so glad I did! It’s about being courageous through tough times. It is written for younger age groups, but altogether a lovely book.

This is my “shrinking solution” potions book for the O.W.L.s challenge :)
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Diversity in All ...: Number the Stars (June 2021) 9 24 Jul 01, 2021 07:50AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Could you please combine those books? 2 12 Apr 14, 2021 03:41AM  
Classroom 1 8 Dec 05, 2019 11:35AM  
Amanda French review 1 6 Nov 14, 2019 10:17PM  
Jasmane Nolivo's Review #7 1 2 Nov 08, 2019 09:59PM  

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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always

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