Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Number the Stars...

It's 1943 and Denmark is being occupied by the Nazis. Jews are being sent to death and “relocated”. Annemarie Johansen, her sister, Kristi, and best friend, Ellen Rosen, are walking home from school when they get questioned by Nazi guards. This worries Annemarie because she doesn’t want her Jewish friend to be noticed by the Nazis. Later she finds out Ellen’s parents are leaving with a friend of the family to hopefully be smuggled to safety. Ellen is going to stay behind and pretend to be one of the Johansens. After Nazi’s storm the apartment searching for any remaining Jews and asking about Ellen’s dark hair, it looks like she may get taken away. The Johansens are clever and are able to buy some time. Mrs. Johansen takes all three girls to go to her brother’s house in order to attend a funeral for Great Aunt Birte. This gets Annemarie thinking because she doesn’t recall anyone in her family having that name. Unfortunately, being at Uncle Henrik’s doesn’t mean being away from the watch of the Nazis. Things become even more perilous. What plan will Annemarie uncover? What will happen if the Nazis catch any of them breaking the rules? Will Ellen ever see her mom and dad? Seeing the war through Annemarie’s eyes will draw you into the story, and you will not want to put the book down until you learn what happens to all of the characters. I was captivated!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a wonderful book about being brave in a dangerous time. Annemarie is a loyal friend and more courageous than she knows. I felt as if I knew her, and she's definitely someone I'd want to be friends with. I was worried as I read about the stressful situations Annemarie and her family/friends were in and I was holding my breath, hoping things would end in the best way possible. This is a fabulous book for kids in fourth through eighth grade. Older readers will enjoy it as well! WWII was filled with so much tragedy, but I love to learn about the people who came together to help their friends and neighbors. It's a reminder to all of us that kindness and determination will prevail over evil. I didn’t realize that the events in this book were based on a true event in Denmark in September of 1943. Awesome! I was touched by the story and the characters. I'm still thinking about them and what life was like for the real people who lived during that time. I have read many books by Lois Lowry, and I definitely recommend this historical fiction winner to those who haven't read it yet. 

Has anyone else read Number the Stars? Or have you read another book by Lois Lowry? We would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading! ~L

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32 comments:

  1. Lois's book sounds frightening but fascinating. I love the idea of kids reading historical stories to learn about history. It's more interesting than dry textbooks.

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    1. Lexa- I agree! HF is definitely a fun way to learn about history. :) ~L

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  2. I agree with Lexa. Kids need to read about our history to find out how lucky they are to still live in a free country. WWII was a frightening time for children, I was one, and recall vividly how scared I was of the stories I over head from adults. I had four uncles off fighting in that terrible war. I will defiantly check this book out for me and for Maggie. Great review!

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    1. Anna- I hope you and Maggie enjoy this one. I agree with you that kids need to learn about our history. It has helped me to have a great appreciation for our country and freedom. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. :) ~L

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  3. Sounds like a great story. And like the others, I agree that it's a great way for kids to learn about history.

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    1. Natalie- It is a great story and a wonderful way to learn. :) ~L

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  4. sounds inspirational! thanks for introducing it to us! we need more books like this for kids.

    and thanks for commenting on my broken branch falls blog tour!

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    1. Tara- I love books like this and agree that they are inspirational.

      You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  5. This book seems to bring out so many varied emotions. In the most awful of times, the human spirit at its finest can restore your faith. A lesson in history. Thank you, my kind friend.

    Gary

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    1. Gary- So true! The human spirit is truly amazing. :) ~L

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  6. This is a wonderful book. When I was teaching 5th grade we read the book together as a class. Before reading it, the students were to learn more about WWII, from parents, grandparents, or whever they could. They came up with such great information, scrapbooks, interviews with former soldiers, etc. Then they understood the book better.

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    1. Beverly- It sounds like you and your students really enjoyed Number the Stars. I love how you had them learn about WWII from a family member or other source before reading the book. Awesome! :) ~L

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  7. I love her writing, so I'm sure this one won't fail to be a wonderful read.

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    1. Lee- I am sure you will love it! :) ~L

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  8. It's been ages, but I remember this book quite well! It was amazing and powerful!

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    1. Meradeth- It is definitely a book that stays with you! :) ~L

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  9. I've always meant to read this book but I haven't yet.

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    1. Kelly_ I hope you get to read it soon. It is a fast read. :) ~L

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  10. What a wonderful way to introduce kids to that time period through a peer's eyes, and make it relatable. Sounds like a great read.

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    1. Cate- It is a great read! Definitely helps kids to see what it was like during WWII. ~L

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  11. I haven't read this one, but have read The Giver. I'll put this one on my TBR list. Thanks for telling me about it.

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    1. Rosi- I hope you enjoy Number the Stars! :) ~L

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  12. I remember reading this book as part of a 5th grade project. It was really moving and inspirational.

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    1. Lady Lilith- So glad you remember this one and enjoyed it when you read it! :) ~L

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  13. I have The Giver to read and will put this on the TBR pile as well. Have heard so much about this author and love the cover and review here!

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    1. Claudine- I can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Giver and Number the Stars. :) ~L

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  14. I read this long ago and can't remember much of it. Maybe it's time for a reread.

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    1. Medeia- I hope you get to read it again soon. :) ~L

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  15. This book sounds amazing but sad. I'll definitely be adding this one to my TBR! And I haven't read anything by Lois Lowry yet, but I plan to read The Giver before the movie comes out! Awesome review!! *hugs*

    ~Mckenzie @ A Belle's Tales x

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    1. McKenzie- You will be very intrigued by The Giver and I know Number the Stars will be a fast and enjoyable read for you. I forgot The Giver was turning into a movie. Thanks for the reminder! :)
      ~L

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