Author James Cudney is hosting a Children’s book Readathon over at his blog, This is my Truth now. This week I chose to review Number the Stars by Lois Lowry . You can read Jay’s lovely review of Winnie the Pooh here: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2018/08/17/book-review-winnie-the-pooh-by-a-a-milne/
Number the stars
Number the stars is a wonderful story about bravery and friendship. It is set in occupied Denmark during WWII and tells the story of two families, the Johansen’s and the Rosen’s. The Johansen’s are Danish and Christian and the Rosen’s are Danish and Jewish. The families live in the same apartment block in Coppenhagen and are very good friends.
The book discloses a lot of interesting facts about life in Coppenhagen during WWII including the food and other shortages. I learned an awful lot about the war in this small European country through reading this book such as:
- In 1943, the Danish resistance movement rescued all but 500 of its Jewish population of 7 000 to 8 000 from being sent to Nazi concentration camps by transporting them to neutral Sweden where they were offered asylum.
- Denmark surrendered to the German invaders in 1940 as the King, Christian X, did not want to subject his people to a slaughter. He knew his army was no match for the Germans.
- In August 1943, the Danes sank their entire navy in Copenhagen harbour as the German’s approached to take the ships over for their own use.
There are some other fascinating historical facts included in this book that I won’t reveal as they would be spoilers.
When the Jews are warned by their Rabbi at the Jewish New Year Celebration that the Nazi’s were going to start rounding them up for deportation that night, Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen are thrown into turmoil as both families act together to save the Rosen’s from deportation and smuggle them to Sweden.
This book is for children aged 8 to 12 years old and is a wonderful way to introduce this age group to the horrors of war in an appropriate way. The book is not at all graphic but it does convey the fear and tragedy that is war.
This book won the Newbery Award.