Number the Stars

Written by Lois Lowry

Reviewed by Emily M. (age 10)

Annemarie and Ellen were zooming down the street! Who do you think is going to win? “Halt”, said a Nazi soldier to the girls. Kirsti caught up with them, and then she stopped. When the Nazi soldier let them go, they ran home. Kirsti told Mama and Ellen’s Mama (Mrs. Rosen), and they were worried. The Rosens are a Jewish family. Then Ellen’s parents went into hiding because they had to escape the Nazi soldiers. Ellen stayed with Annemarie’s family and pretended to be one of the Johansens. Instead of staying at the house they went to Uncle Henrik’s house. After a while they had a “funeral” for Great Aunt Birte. Annemarie didn’t remember her because she didn’t exist. Now Annemarie thinks something is going on.

A theme in this story is bravery. Annemarie is brave, like when Uncle Henrik had forgotten something important, Annemarie risked her life just to get the package to her uncle. I liked the suspense when some Nazi soldiers banged on Annemarie’s door at 3:00 A.M. asking if they knew where the Rosen’s were while Ellen was still at Annemarie’s house. Thankfully Papa saved them when one Nazi soldier asked why one child had brown hair and the others were blond. Papa showed him some pictures of Lise, Annemarie, and Kirsti as babies. Lise is Annemarie’s older sister who died right before her wedding. Lise had brown hair as a baby and Ellen had brown hair. The soldiers were fooled into thinking that Ellen was Lise. I love this book because it has important details about World War II and because it relates in someway to my life, like when it comes to bravery. My friend Jessica I would risk our lives for each other! This book made me have feelings of sadness. When Mr. and Mrs. Rosen had to leave Ellen, it almost made me cry! My favorite character is Kirsti because she is very funny. For example, when she caught up to Annemarie and Ellen when they were stopped by two Nazi soldiers, one of the soldiers touched her hair and Kirsti screamed and threw a fit! Annemarie’s character changed in this book. At the beginning she didn’t care about anything—she was carefree. In the middle she started to realize how badly Jewish people were being treated. At the end of the story Annemarie wanted to help all the Jewish people. Something special about this book is that it won a Newbery Award. That means that it was the best children’s book of the year when it was published!

I recommend Number the Stars for 4th grade and higher. I think adults should read it, too! This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Emily M. is a student in Mrs. Bajczuk's 3rd Grade through 4th Grade Class
2008-2009