Monday, October 4, 2010

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I read this book in school and I find it enlightening to re-read old favorites as an adult.  If you haven't turned to Number the Stars in awhile, pick it up for a quick read.
Food to eat while reading: Ug-rotten (Au-gratin) potatoes
Read the synopsis here.

What I liked:

Even small children are affected by the goings-on of the adults in their lives. Annemarie is very young when the Nazi’s take over Denmark. How poignant the events of war are as told through the eyes of a child.

The story is told through Annemarie and Lois Lowry has a talent for putting us into the character’s head. The point of view is never breached-every detail is taken in from a ten-year old perspective. Even though Annemarie does not understand the politics of war, she can tell when something is wrong. And she can be brave and courageous, just like her mother and uncle.

I am interested in the way Lowry uses simple language, dotting the story here and there with lovely descriptions that don’t overpower or take away from the telling.

Fairy tales are woven throughout the book, usually as stories told to Annemarie’s younger sister, Kirsti. The tales reflect what is going on in key parts of the story and add a layer of symbolism that adult readers recognize and children readers feel.

What I would have changed:

I would have liked to read more about Ellen and Annemarie together-their cultural differences and similarities. Because I don’t know much about either the Danes or the Jews, knowing more about both cultures would help immerse me in the story.

The verdict:
Number the Stars is a classic story that brings to light the difficult topic of war to those who are often the most affected by it, the children.

Purchase: Number the Stars

Genre: MG, Historical Fiction

Publisher: Mass Market Paperback, 137 pages, February 9th 1998 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1989)

Where I got the book: Library for book club


  1. I am going to get the book, and the UG-ROTTEN potatoes...just because of the fun way you spelled it. :)

  2. My daughters aren't big readers (I still can't figure out why) but my eldest read this one in class, then devoured any other Lois Lowry titles she could find. She gushed endlessly over this one in particular.

  3. Love Lois Lowry, this review makes me want to read more, and I haven't read this one. I need to go to the library and browse the L's.


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