Writer: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Dell Publishing (1989)
Bought at: Betterworldbooks (USD 5.48, bargain price!)
Annemarie Johansen lived peacefully in her hometown, Copenhagen – at least before the war came. But it’s now 1943 and the Nazi soldiers marching in her lovely town. They start to arrest the Jews, relocate them to unknown places that sound really horrible.
Annemarie’s world become impacted when her best friend, Ellen Rosen, has to be pretended as her sister and lives with her family, because Ellen is a Jew, and her family has to hide somewhere without her. The safest place for Ellen is to blend with Annemarie’s family.
To save Ellen’s life, Annemarie must embark on a very difficult and dangerous journey, and she must rethink her most important things and priorities in life. Will all of these things she’ll do worth her and her family’s lives? Will saving people become the most important priority in her life now?
Number The Stars is one of the books that discussed World War II from a different perspective for younger audience. The story from Copenhagen captured the contrast between a peaceful, lovely city and the dark, cruel life in a wartime.
I haven’t read the story about the joint forces of Scandinavian people to save their people (non Jewish helping their Jewish neighbors) and it is pretty amazing. No wonder Scandinavian countries still become some of the most peaceful places to live until now. The people have been very helpful to each other even during the harsh days of WW II.
The only thing that bothers me a little bit about this book is it’s too short!! Just like Lowry’s previous book that I’ve read, The Giver, it lacks of the depth of characters and the solution of the conflict itself is too simplified.
But maybe because this book is targeted to younger readers, then the stories actually fit. To teach about bravery, friendship, making the right decisions and prioritize what’s important, I have to admit that this book has successfully done so.