Sunday, December 27, 2009


Language: 0
Violence: 2
 Sexual Content: 0
Adult Themes: 2
Title:  Number the Stars
Author: Lois Lowry
Newberry Medal Recipient
Ratings Explanation
Violence: The Germans burn down part of Tivoli, an amusement park in Copenhagen, to destroy the Dane’s morale.  The Nazis raided a Resistance meeting.  They shot people as they ran for safety.  Lisse, Annemarie’s older sister, was run down by a military car.  Peter is later captured and executed by the Germans in the public square at Ryvangen.  The Nazis take lists of all the Jews in the congregation, from the synagogue, and plan to relocate them to concentration camps.  The Nazis burst into the Johansen’s apartment in the middle of the night in search of the Rosen Family who live across the hall.  Ellen Rosen assumes the name of Lisse Johansen.  The German officer pulls Ellen Rosen’s dark curls and demands to know why she is not blond like the other Johansen daughters.  Annemarie’s mother falls and breaks her ankle while returning from guiding the Rosens through the woods to the harbor for their escape to Sweden.   Annemarie is stopped by four German soldiers and two dogs, in the pre-dawn hours, while running through the woods to deliver a forgotten handkerchief used to aid the escaping Jews.  (Swedish scientists prevented detection of the escaping Jews by creating a powerful powder composed of dried rabbit’s blood and cocaine.  The blood attracted the dogs, and the cocaine numbed their noses and temporarily destroyed their sense of smell.  Many lives were saved by this device.)
Adult Themes:  The German Nazis have invaded Denmark and have made life very difficult for the Danes.  The Jews of Denmark are “relocated”.
Annemarie, a ten year old girl, lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Her parents have been extremely somber since the death of her older sister, Lisse.  Life is very difficult during the German occupation.  Annemarie longs for cupcakes and sweets, but everything delicious to eat is redistributed for use by the German Army.  Annemarie matures as she participates in aiding the Rosen Family’s escape to Sweden.  She plays an integral part in salvaging the forgotten decoy that ultimately saves the Rosens in their escape from the Nazis.
I loved the young, strong, heroine found in Annemarie Johansen.  I strongly recommend this book for young readers.
©2009 The Literate Mother
Posted in Grades 4-5, Historical Fictio

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