Book Project on Number The Stars, written by Lois Lowry

by Alexandra Busato 6A, January 25 2007

Book Summary

HI, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The story takes place in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, during the Nazi 2nd World War in 1943. The Nazis have taken over, and they want to relocate the Jews of Denmark. Ellen is Annemarie's best friend. She is Jewish, so she has to hide with Anne Marie's family, the Johansens, who are not Jewish. She pretends to be Annemarie's sister Lise, who died 3 years ago. Ellen later joins her family, the Rosens, and Peter and Uncle Hendrik sneak the Rosens out at night to a boat to Sweden where it's safe.

Five Main Characters

Annemarie Johansen

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen Annemarie has silvery blond hair and long legs. She likes to race and wants to win. She tells fairy tales to her sister about King Christian, who she likes. Annemarie is just an ordinary 10 year old girl who has to become brave to save her friend. She asks her father why the Danish people gave up so easily to the Nazis. She finds out they had no choice. She wonders if she will ever be a hero like in a fairy tale to help the Jews. Annemarie is very courageous when she brings a basket to her Uncle Henrik, and is stopped by 4 armed soldiers and 2 large dogs. She has to pretend to be silly like her little sister to pass through. She's a very loyal friend to Ellen and risks her life to save her.

The image is from Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen that she loves. It's the amusement park that gave Walt Disney the inspiration to make Walt Disney World. It was half burned down by the Nazis, but it was quickly rebuilt in two weeks.

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Ellen Rosen

Star of David, symbol of Judaism Ellen has dark brown hair that she sometimes ties up in pigtails. She is the best friend of Annemarie and she is a very good student. Because she is Jewish, she has to hide from the German soldiers. She has to pretend to be Lise, Annemarie's sister who died. Ellen is scared of leaving her family and is worried about them. She's also scared of the German soldiers and wants to escape.

The image is the Star of David, symbol of Judaism. Ellen is wearing a gold chain with a Star of David when soldiers come into the girl's room. Annemarie takes it off Ellen's neck just in time, before the soldiers see it.

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Kirsti Johansen

Paper dolls Kirsti is Annemarie's little sister who's 5 years old. She's very pretty but stubborn and defiant. She's also a chatterbox who likes to exaggerate. She wants bread with butter, but there is no butter during the war because of rations. She also doesn't like fish skin shoes, but it's the only kind of shoes she could have. She keeps on interrupting and causes a lot of trouble. Annemarie finds that she's a pest, and always butting in, but she still loves her. Annemarie learns from Kirsti how to act like a silly girl to pass the soldiers.

Kirsti likes to play with paper dolls, like in the picture. She also loves fairy tales about kings and queens.

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Peter Neilson.

Danish resistance fighter Peter is a friend of the Johansen's and leader of the Resistance. He was the fiance of Annemarie's oldest sister Lise, who was killed by the Nazi's. He breaks the curfew to visit the family and brings them a secret newspaper that is illegal. He always considers questions before answering. He finds refuge for the Rosen's, Ellen's parents, before they escape.

Peter is just a character in the story, but the man in the photo is real. He's a Danish Resistance fighter named Kim Malthe-Bruun. Lois Lowry, the writer, saw his picture and read his story and it gave her the idea for Peter. If you click the picture, you can find out more about it.

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Moma, Mrs. Inge Johansen

Model of a fishing boat used to smuggle Jews out of Denmark Mrs. Inge Johansen is the mother of Annemarie and Kirsti Johansen. She rarely disagrees with their father. She loves and protects her family. She takes Ellen into her house to hide her from the Nazis, and then she helps the Rosens and other Jewish families to escape on a boat. Twice, she thinks fast to save the Rosens. One time was when the soldiers suspect Ellen is not Annemarie's sister because she has brown hair. She quickly shows a photo of Lise when she was a baby with some dark hair. Then later when some soldiers want to look into the casket, she tells them that her aunt died of typhus. So they let it go.

The picture is a model of a fishing boat used to smuggle Jews out of Denmark. You can click the picture to find out more about it. The boat used to help the Rosens escape has the same name she has - Ingeborg.

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My Favourite Character

Annemarie is my favourite because she learns how to be brave. I like it that she was brave when the four German soldiers came with their two large and ferocious dogs. She had to act silly to trick the soldiers so she could pass through, which was very smart. She was also smart when she took the Star of David necklace off of Ellen's neck before the soldiers came into their room. She's an extremely loyal friend to Ellen and she risks her life for her.

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Dreidel, a gambling game used to hide the Jews when they were practising their religion.


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Star of David, symbol of Judaism Menorah, tradition of Judaism Nazi symbol