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Publisher's Summary

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.

Number the Stars is the 1990 Newbery Medal winner for most distinguished American children's book.

Click here to see a full list of Newbery Medal winners and Newbery Honor winners.
©2004 Lois Lowry; (P)2004 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 1990

"The combination of Brown's steady voice and Lowry's dramatic story creates a mesmerizing production." (AudioFile)
"Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

People of all ages will enjoy this book.

Number the Stars is the story of two little girls whose friendship is put to the test by the Nazi invasion of Denmark. Although the protagonists in this story are children, people of all ages will enjoy this book. Historical fiction at its finest, it captures both the facts and the feelings of the era. You will want to weep for the divided families and children forced to grow up too quickly. Your pulse will quicken every time the Nazis knock on the door. You will glimpse their fading humanity. You will rejoice at the small victories the characters achieve.

I wish this book had been read by author Lois Lowry, since writers usually read their books better than anyone else. Reader Blair Brown is a nice consolation prize, though. Her reading of the book is smooth and graceful.

ADDED BONUS: At the end of the story there is a discussion about the historical facts behind this fictional account of the Nazi invasion. Not to be missed!

If you love historical fiction, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you love young adult literature, you will love this book. If you just plain love a good story, well told, you will LOVE this book. And at just under three hours, it's a relatively quick listen. I highly recommend it.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wendy
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 06-05-11

Well written historical fiction.

A required reading for elementary school and I used the audible for the kids to listen to because I could not read it without crying. Well read and well written. Wendy

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A Slice of Real Family Life During WWII

This is a wonderful story of a family helping neighbors and others escape the nazis during WWII. It is presented through the eyes of an adolescent girl and is suspenseful as well as uplifting. I think that 12-year olds through old agers could gain insight from this story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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great reminder

it's a great reminder of what has happened in our past. excpecaly for the young.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lovely inspiring story

This is a well-written tale about the Danish resistance to the German occupation during World War II, told from the perspective of a young girl. It is an excellent way to introduce young readers to the topic. Blake Brown's narration was convincing and appropriate for the intended readers. I highly recommend this recording.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

my favorite book

this has been my favorite book since I was a child I truly love this story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous addition to the WWII canon - for YA!

What did you like best about this story?

I read this on my own several years ago; it is up on the twins' 7th grade literature list so out it came again. The book is good. It's fairly simple in plot, with a nice splattering of medium-advanced vocabulary (scampered, peered, tiara) that go a bit beyond the standard fare but whose meanings are easily deduced by contextual references. The plot goes a bit on the slow side, so it's tough to keep my twins engaged (especially compared to Steinbeck's The Pearl which we read before this also because it's on the 7th grade literature list), but we are managing.<br/><br/>**** updated after we completed this novel ****<br/>This book is a great lens into WWII and Hitler's anti-Semitic campaign without being too.... graphic and direct. The author captures the terror, deprivation and repression of German occupation in a well woven web of familial and political ties. The narrative (1st person, from a young girl's perspective) is reflective, compelling and descriptive. The storyline arc is a steady crescendo towards resolution of several plots: why older sister Lise died, how Annabelle's Jeweish friend Ellen and her family will escape, and if Denmark will survive occupation. The epilogue is especially interesting - cocaine & dried blood on hankerchiefs. Brilliant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book

This book has changed my life by reading through all the Danish people went through during the Nazi occupation. I recommend this book to very historical people and others as well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Story of Outstanding Courage

I've read this book over and over since it was published, but I've never written a review. This is the story of the Danes during WWII and their efforts to save the Danish Jews from the concentration camps. Very few Danish Jews were slaughtered, most escaped to Sweden to evade the Nazis, all through the efforts of Danish citizens.

Originally written for the young adult market, it underlines the heroism of Danish youth and the Resistance. Well worth listening to for adults, teens, and pre-teens.

I can only appreciate the expertise of Ms. Lowry in providing everyday heroes for us all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Megan
  • Pueblo, CO, United States
  • 12-07-11

Great story about the Nazi invasion.

What did you love best about Number the Stars?

Students loved that they could relate to many of the characters, because they were close to the same age. I loved that it taught them about the Holocaust.

What does Blair Brown bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She gets the feelings across to the listener.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

How far would you go to save your friends from certain death?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful