A powerful story set in Nazi occupied Denmark in 1943. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is called upon for a selfless act of bravery to help save her ...Show synopsisA powerful story set in Nazi occupied Denmark in 1943. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is called upon for a selfless act of bravery to help save her best-friend, Ellen - a Jew. It is 1943 and for ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen life is still fun - school, family, sharing fairy stories with her little sister. But there are dangers and worries too - the Nazis have occupied Copenhagen and there are food shortages, curfews and the constant threat of being stopped by soldiers. And for Annemarie the dangers become even greater...her best-friend Ellen is a Jew. When Ellen's parents are taken away to be 'relocated' by the Nazis, Ellen is taken in by Annemarie's parents and suddenly Annemarie's family are under threat too. Annemarie has to call upon all her resources for courage and bravery as she helps her friend make a daring escape. A Newbery Medal winner by an acclaimed author *For readers from 8 to 12 *Hide synopsis
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Ten-year-olds Annemarie and her friend Ellen are living in Denmark during
World War II. Ellen and her family are Jewish and are eventually forced to
flee to Sweden with the help of the Danish Resistance and Annemarie.
Although she is portrayed as the heroine of the story, Annemarie struggles
with being brave and learns that sometimes you can be brave even when you're
afraid. This is an excellent story (winner of a Newberry) with engaging
characters and many historical details, showing the effects of the Holocaust
through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl.
My kids were captivated by this book, kept in suspense, and horrified by Nazi cruelty. Though nothing is graphic, details of some deaths are ... blunt. Hard for my tenderhearted children to take, but it was handled well.
Highlights, according to my kids:
*Brash little five-year-old Kirsti
*Identifying with AnneMarie, who just knew that her life was far too ordinary for her to ever be called on to do something courageous, and being glad of that.
*Suspense ... just enough to make it thrilling
*A mostly happy ending for our favorite characters, though not for everyone
There's a terrific afterword in which the author sifts through what was true and what was fiction. We learned some staggering facts: in 1943, in a matter of weeks, about 7,000 Jews were smuggled out of Denmark, to safety in Sweden. And there's a detail, too crucial to the plot and suspense for me to reveal it, that sounds like fantastic fiction, but was actually true.
Number the Stars is a "must include" in any WWII unit for children.
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