Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Number the Stars

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Annamarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen are best friends. They are growing up in Copenhagen during World War 2, and there are Nazi soldiers on every street corner. This is becoming increasingly difficult for the Rosen family, who are Jewish. When a store owned by a Jewish family is closed, the Rosens and Johansens become worried, but when they find out that soon all Jews will be 'relocated,' the families know it is time to take action.

 Annamarie's family helps out Ellen's family in any way they can. While Ellen's parents go into hiding, Ellen stays with Annamarie. When Nazis come knocking on the Johansen's door to find the Rosen's, Ellen and Annamarie pretend to be sisters. Soon, it is decided that it is no longer safe for the girls to stay in Copenhagen, so they go with Annamarie's mother and sister to visit Uncle Henrik in the country.

Soon after arriving in the country, Annamarie begins to piece together all of the strange things that have been happening. Her parents seem to talk on code and mysterious packages are exchanged.Strangest of all is the funeral happening for Great Aunt Bertie, since Annamarie knows that no such person exists. It turns out that the funeral, along with the other odd things going on are all part of a plot to help the Rosens, as well as other Jews, escape to Sweden. Finally, Annamarie is asked to show her bravery by going on a mission that could make save her friend's life.

I am so happy I re-read this book. Every time I read it I enjoy it. Lowry is such a compelling writer, but of all her books I think I connect to this book the most. It makes me wonder what I would have done in the same situation, and whether I would have been as brave as Annamarie and Ellen. I like the characters, and although the story is not a happy one, there are still some light-hearted moments.

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