Number the Stars

By: Lois Lowry-Jessica Jacobs


Number the Stars is about a ten year-old girl, Annemarie Johansen. Her best friend is Ellen Rosen. Ellen Rosen is a Jew, but Annemarie and her family are not. Annemarie has to face very difficult challenges. She has to protect her family and now she has to hide Ellen. Copenhagen, Denmark is filled with Nazis soldiers marching everywhere through town. The Nazis continue with their journey. They don't stop and nobody can stop them. The Jews are being relocated and taken away. So, Ellen joins and moves in with Annemarie's family. She pretends to be part of her family. Ellen has a necklace that states that she is a jew. When the soldiers come to Annemarie's house, Annemarie and Ellen were hiding and pretending to be asleep in bed. When the soldiers opened their bedroom door, Annemarie yanked Ellen's necklace off. She yanked it off because it conceals Ellen's jewish identity. Annemarie keeps and wears the necklace until she is able to give it back to Ellen. The necklaces is the Star of David. Along the way, Annemarie Johansen has many struggles and survivals. Her mom gets hurt and she is trying to protect not only Ellen, but her own family too. There is no turning back now. Annemarie must keep going in order to save everyone, even herself. Does Annemarie Johansen have enough strength, bravery, and courage to save her best friends live? Read this book to find out.


The theme of this book is to be courageous. It takes courage for many things. Annemarie had to have courage to try and protect her family and Ellen. When Annemarie's mom got hurt and fell down, she had to have courage to take food to her father that was about a mile away. There are Nazis all around, wondering everywhere. The Nazis could stop Annemarie. They did. They questioned her and took all of the food. Annemarie then finally, ran back to her mom. It also took courage for Annemarie to talk to the Nazis about Ellen. They luckily believed her that Ellen was her sister. She was scared, but tried not show her frightfulness. You have to have courage for many things and I think that the author did a nice job of explaining it.

Historical Event: The Star of David

The Star of David is a necklace or pin that has six points and is yellow. It has two interlocking triangles. The six points symbolize God's rule over the universe in all six directions. The directions are: north, south, east, west, up, and down. The Jewish people had a hard life in history, so the six points is suppose to be in their honor. This necklace was associated with the Holocaust and World War II. The Nazis once ware the star pinned to their clothes. If you wear the pin or necklace, it puts you in danger. Even if you take it off, you are in even more danger. Now, this necklace is a Jewish identity. It lets the Nazis know that you are a jew. The Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear the necklaces. Jews are being taken away that nobody knows where. So, the Star of David remains as a reminder for the Jewish people: In God We Trust.

Going Deeper into the book about The Star or David:

In this book, The Star of David is Ellen's Necklace. She is a Jew which is why she has the necklace. The Nazis are the ones that forced the Jews to have and wear the necklaces. One night while Ellen is staying with the Johansen's, Annemarie's mother answers the door. The Nazis were at the door. They were looking for any Jews. If anyone was hiding a Jew, they would get killed right away. Annemarie's mother said that we don't know where any Jews are. The Nazis wanted to look around. After a little while, they got to Annemarie's door where Annemarie and Ellen were asleep. Anne's mom keep telling the Nazis to be quiet because she had children asleep. Annemarie noticed that Ellen had her necklace still on. If they found that on her, they would kill us all. The necklace puts us all in danger. So, just in time before the Nazis came in, Annemarie yanked the necklace off of Ellen and laid it in her fist. The Nazis asked Annemarie who this was and she said it was my sister. The Nazis luckily believe them and headed outside again. Ellen told Annemarie the story about the Star of David. "It revels my Jewish identity," she said. "Thank you for getting it off just in time." "No problem. Sorry. I broke your chain, though," Annemarie said. "I never liked that chain anyway," Ellen stated. They both laughed. These details tell why this author included The Star of David in the book.


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"Star of David." aishcom. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.