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Number the Stars is a Historical Fiction children's novel by Lois Lowry.
The novel is about a Danish girl named Annemarie Johansen and her Jewish friend Ellen Rosen. They live in Copenhagen, Denmark during World War II. They are forced to move out into Annemarie's Uncle Henrik's home after Nazi soldiers demand to know the whereabouts of Ellen's Jewish family. Ellen, now disguised as Annemarie's dead sister Lise, joins the Johansen family in Uncle Henrik's home. Annemarie has to face her fears in order to save her friend.
It received the John Newbery Medal in 1990.
This novel provides examples of:
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Kirsti.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Book Ends: In the beginning, Annemarie is racing with Ellen on the street. At the end, she is running to deliver a package that will help the Rosens escape.
- Cheating with the Milkman: When the Nazis search the Johansens, Ellen is pretending to be Annemarie's sister. She has dark hair that is different from the others' blond hair, so the Nazis ask if they got her from the milkman.
- Death by Newbery Medal: Peter dies during the time skip, and Lise died in the back story when a Nazi car struck her. However, Ellen and other Danish Jews survive and are evacuated.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: The Nazis are coming, and Annemarie realizes that Ellen still has her Star of David necklace on, so she yanks it off just in time. However, she warns her that it will hurt, and at the end, she asks her father to fix it so she may wear it herself until Ellen comes back.
- La Résistance: The Danish Resistance
- Underground Railroad: Helping the Jews hide or escape from the Nazis.
- Dye or Die: Peter has red hair, so he must wear a hat to keep the Nazis from discovering him.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Lise died because she was hit by a car. In the end, it is revealed that she was intentionally hit by the Nazis, because she was part of La Résistance
- Title Drop: During the fake funeral, Peter reads from Psalm 147, which describes God as "He Who numbers the stars one by one."
- World War II: The setting
- You Don't Want to Catch This: A casket is used to hold the supplies of the Jews in hiding. A German soldier comes in and they say that they are holding a funeral for "Great-Aunt Birte". The soldier tells them to open the casket, but Annemarie's mother says that "Great-Aunt Birte" died of typhus, and the doctor warned them against exposure.