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Number the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Kirkus The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabbi Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction--a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943. Five years younger than Lisa in Matas' book (below), Annemarie Johansen has, at ten, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events--but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors. A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards--not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 4-8-The horrors of the Holocaust and the bravery of the Danish people during World War II are thoughtfully presented in Lois Lowry's novel (HM, 1989), a story that children will cherish. In 1943, ten-year-old Annemarie Johannesen and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, are not entirely aware of why the German soldiers are standing on the street corners of Copenhagen, but they quickly begin to realize the danger that exists and what it means to be brave. From the moment that German soldiers barge into her home in the middle of the night, until she sees her friends safely smuggled on her uncle's boat headed for Sweden, Annemarie begins to see the world through adult eyes and is forced to give up a part of her childish innocence. Blair Brown gently narrates this Newbery award-winning novel, which will slowly draw listeners into Danish life 60 years ago. The variation in Brown's voice clearly distinguishes between each character, from sweet, young Kirsti to kind Uncle Henrik to the demanding German soldiers. This timeless story of courage, friendship, and family, based on the actual events of the Danish Resistance to World War II, should be part of every child's introduction to the Holocaust. This recording is an essential purchase for school and public libraries and would make an excellent family listening experience.-Casey Rondini, Hartford Public Library, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Set in Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943, this 1990 Newbery winner tells of a 10-year-old girl who undertakes a dangerous mission to save her best friend. Ages 10-14. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 3-7?The gripping story of a ten-year-old Danish girl and her family's courageous efforts to smuggle Jews out of their Nazi-occupied homeland to safety in Sweden. Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery. (Mar. 1989) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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