130. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.  (buy)

Rating: (4/5)

1989; Dell/Doubleday, 137 pgs

Ages: (10+)

"As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war."

Purchased a copy from a used book sale.

I've read this 1990 Newbery Medal winner a few times now and always find it a well-written light WWII story, yet one that still packs a punch at the impact Nazi occupation and persecution of Jews had upon the everyday citizens.  This is a good first book to read regarding WWII as it does not contain any descriptions of the horrors, yet it does lightly touch upon the subject matter while making an emotional impact.  At the base it is a story of friendship between two Danish girls, one who is a Jew.  The story touches upon the "relocation" of Jews, the Danish Resistance, the Danish occupation, the general attitude of the Nazis and the fear of those living under occupation.  It is a touching story that gently deals with death and heartbreak while also giving a good historical background on Denmark's WWII history.  The author's note at the back is a goldmine of information and will have many clamouring to learn more on the subject matter.  A worthy Newbery winner, imho.

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