History Effectively & Powerfully Told

Summary:

Ellen Rosen and Annemarie Johansen (10) have been the best of friends, growing up together as neighbors in their beloved home of Denmark. But in 1943, with World War II well underway, Denmark finds itself in a tight spot. Denmark is under German occupation. Now food is scarce and even worse, German soldiers are around every corner.

Because of their Jewish beliefs, Ellen and her family find themselves in danger. The Johansen family takes the enormous risk to shelter Ellen and her family, doing their best to outwit the German soldiers at every turn. The day has come when it is Annemarie’s turn to be brave, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to save her best friend’s life.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
Lois Lowry does an amazing job blending fact and storytelling to create a beautifully written novel. Number the Stars is a sweet, yet deep and profound, story of a Danish girl who bravely comes to the aid of her Jewish friend during World War II. Lowry intertwines increasingly tense, powerful moments with the reappearing symbol of stars to showcase the bravery and idealism of the Danish people during WWII.

I appreciated the historical information about Denmark that the author explains in the afterword. Most people don’t necessarily incorporate Denmark into World War II discussions, so I liked how Number the Stars provided that information. I did not know about the strong dedication Danish people had for their country and king during the struggles with German occupation. King Christian seems to have been quite the leader, and I was intrigued to learn about his leadership.

This is an excellent book, and I believe I would have been more touched by this story when I was younger. With its positive messages and role models, I recommend this novel for anyone 10 years or older. Number the Stars would make a great gift to fans of historical fiction and anyone looking for a short emotional story that features a brave young girl. 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers will find themselves emersed in 1940s Denmark. Lois Lowry creates a "sensory" experience through the eyes of two 10-year-old girls, allowing readers to more closely relate to history that is foreign to them in concept and time.

Content Awareness Factors:

This is a story about the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. The presentation is not gory nor graphic, but does directly present life as it was in Denmark, 1943. There is violence and mentions of death and injury, as well as tense interactions with German soldiers. There is an infant who is drugged within the story to keep her quiet during a dangerous night.


Type of Book:
This is an informational story (nonfiction + historical fiction) for upper-elementary and middle-school students.
Educational Themes:

This book is written for an audience who has "heard" but probably knows little about World War II, and more specifically the Holocaust. It can be a catalyst for conversations on an array of topics from courage and perseverence, personal and community ethics, and friendship, as well as non-emotional topics related to the war itself. Our suggestion is let your young reader lead the direction(s) conversation may move.

Reading Level:
4.5
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
This is a MUST borrow. Adults - not just children - will find this an enlightening, powerful story.

Title Number the Stars
Author Lois Lowry
Publisher HMH Books for Young Readers © 2011 (Reissue Edition)
ISBN 9780547577098
Material Paperback
Cost $5.79
Genres Historical Fiction, 1940s & 1950s, War
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

You May Also Like...

Check out these books you may also like

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Karen Levine
Publisher
Second Story Press © 2007
ISBN
189718705X

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Lois Lowry
Publisher
HMH Books for Young Readers © 2014
ISBN
9780544336261

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Leon Leyson
Publisher
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2013
ISBN
9781442497818
be the star you are Cybils

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Lois Lowry
ISBN
9781410454485
be the star you are

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Anne Frank, Ari Folman
Publisher
Pantheon © 2018
ISBN
9781101871799
be the star you are Cybils

RECOMMENDED BOOK

Author Willy Lindwer
Publisher Anchor Books, Imprint Knopf Doubleday © 1992 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9780385423601