Number the Stars


Number the Stars (1989) is a work of historical fiction by American author Lois Lowry, about the escape of a Jewish family from Copenhagen during World War II.

The story centers on ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen, who lives with her family in Copenhagen in 1943. She becomes a part of the events related to the rescue of the Danish Jews, when thousands of Jews were helped to reach neutral ground in Sweden in order to avoid being deported to concentration camps. She risks her life to help her best friend, Ellen Rosen, by pretending that Ellen is Annemarie's late older sister Lise, who had died earlier in the war. Lise had been killed as a result of her work with the Danish Resistance. The story's title is taken from a reference to Psalm 147, in which the writer relates that God has numbered all the stars in the universe. It ties into the Star of David, worn by Ellen on her necklace, which is symbolic to the story.

The novel was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1990[1] as the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children".[2] Lois Lowry traveled to Copenhagen to conduct research and interviews for the book. She took the photo of the girl used for the cover (shown in infobox here). That cover was used on many editions of the book.[3]

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