Number the Stars

By Lois Lowry

Book Summary

Number the Stars is told from the point of view of ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen. The story is set in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark in September 1943, the third year of the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Annemarie and her best friend Ellen, who is Jewish, are stopped by soldiers on their way home from school. The two girls, who go to the same school and live in the same building, are unsettled by their first direct encounter with the Germans. Mrs. Johansen and Mrs. Rosen are concerned and ask the girls to take a new route to school. The encounter makes Annemarie reflect on what her father has taught her about Denmark and also about her older sister Lise's death a few years before the start of the book. Later in the fall, Annemarie and her younger sister Kirsti discover that Mrs. Hirsch's neighborhood shop has been closed. This event further alarms Mrs. Johansen, though Annemarie does not understand why.

During a late night visit from Peter Neilsen, a member of the Resistance and the man Lise was to marry, Annemarie is told more about the war. Her parents and Peter explain that Jewish stores are being closed. The next day, the Rosens must flee. The Rosen family splits up. They leave Ellen with the Johansens. During the night, German soldiers come to the apartment demanding that Mr. Johansen disclose the location of his friends. He refuses and they search the apartment. They burst through the girls bedroom door and start to question why Ellen has brown hair but her “sisters” have blonde hair.

3 facts I learned from this book

  • The german soldiers started closing stores run by Jewish people

  • Jewish families had to sometimes split up in order to survive

  • German soldiers had dogs with them sometimes to sniff out people if they were hiding

Who would enjoy this book

This book is a historical fiction book. People who like action mixed with love, fear and drama would like this book.


4 out of 5 stars