Number the Stars



by Lois Lowry


For Annemarie, life in Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school life, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. To her courage is something dragon-slaying knights do in the bedtime stories, but soon Annemarie’s bravery is tested.

Set in 1943 when Nazis occupied Denmark, 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen is asked to perform a heroic deed and aid her uncle. “How brave are you, little Annemarie?” Uncle Henrik asks, and thus the story’s action begins. Through Annemarie’s eyes, the reader learns about the Danish Resistance and how they smuggled nearly 7000 people across the sea to Sweden.

Lowry has taken adult themes such as loyalty, friendship, and courage and put them into a child’s perspective. This book won Lowry the Newbery Medal and the ALA’s Notable Children’s Book Award, and was declared by the School Library Journal as the Best Book of the Year.

This book pairs well with A Faraway Island listed above. For ages 10 and up.