Monday, July 11, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Flap Copy description:
     "How brave are you, little Annemarie?" Uncle Henrik asks his ten-year-old niece. It is 1943, and to Annemarie Johansen, life in Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school life, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. Bravery seems a vague virtue - and possessed by dragon-slaying knights in the bedtime stories she tells her younger sister, Kirsti. Too soon, she herself is called upon for courage.
     As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews in Denmark, the Johansens take in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is part of the family. Ellen and Annemarie must think quickly when three Nazi officers arrive late one night and question why Ellen is not blond, like her sisters...

My thoughts:
The true story of how the Danish Resistance smuggled nearly the entire Jewish population of Denmark (almost 7,000 people) to Nazi-free Sweden by boat, is the backdrop for this middle grade novel, Number the Stars. Although most of the characters are fiction, most of the important events in this story are true. Wonderfully written, this book entertains, educates, but most of all inspires. Lois Lowry won the Newbery Medal Award of 1990 for this work.

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