Number the Stars Book summary by Lois Lowry (download pdf)


“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry is a historical novel set in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. 

It tells the story of a young girl named Annemarie Johansen and her family’s courageous efforts to rescue Jewish friends from the impending Holocaust. 

The novel explores themes of bravery, resistance, and the resilience of the human spirit.

TitleNumber the Stars
AuthorLois Lowry
PublisherClarion Books; Reissue edition (May 2, 2011)
File Formatpdf
Number of pages160 pages
Customer Reviews4.7 out of 5 stars 17,973 Reviews
more information about number the stars by Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars Book summary by Lois Lowry 

The story is narrated by Annemarie Johansen, a ten-year-old girl living in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Denmark is under German occupation, and the Jewish population is facing increasing persecution and danger. 

Annemarie’s family includes her younger sister, Kirsti, and her parents.

Annemarie’s life changes when the Nazis start arresting and deporting Danish Jews. 

The Johansens are not Jewish, but they have close friends who are. 

The Rosens, including Ellen Rosen, are Jewish, and they are like family to the Johansens.

When the Rosens’ lives are in immediate danger, the Johansens decide to help them escape to safety in Sweden, which is neutral territory and out of Nazi control. 

Annemarie’s older sister, Lise, had died in a car accident a few years earlier, and the Nazis believed that Ellen was Lise’s twin sister. 

To protect Ellen, the Johansens claim that she is part of their family.

The novel follows the Johansens’ daring and dangerous plan to get Ellen and the Rosens to safety. 

Annemarie must summon her courage and resourcefulness to assist in the rescue mission while navigating a world filled with Nazi soldiers and informants.

Annemarie’s bravery and determination are put to the test as she faces life-threatening situations and learns about the sacrifices made by the Danish Resistance to protect their Jewish neighbors.

The novel reaches its climax when the Johansens are stopped by Nazi soldiers while transporting Ellen and the Rosens to the harbor for their escape to Sweden. 

Through quick thinking and a clever ruse, they manage to evade capture and reach the safety of Swedish waters.

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Number the Stars Book summary by Lois Lowry:download pdf


“Number the Stars” is a powerful and moving historical novel that highlights the heroism of ordinary people who risked their lives to save others during one of the darkest periods in history. 

Lois Lowry’s storytelling provides a poignant reminder of the human capacity for compassion and resilience in the face of oppression and adversity.


Is “Number the Stars” based on a true story?

While the characters and specific events in the novel are fictional, “Number the Stars” is inspired by the real-life events of the Danish Resistance and the rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. 

What age group is the book intended for?

 “Number the Stars” is typically categorized as a middle-grade or young adult novel, suitable for readers aged 10 and up.

Has “Number the Stars” received any literary awards or recognition?

Yes, the novel has received numerous awards and honors, including the Newbery Medal, which is one of the highest accolades in children’s literature.

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