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Number The Star Book by Lois Lowry: A 10-year-old girl journey through hell

Growing up is indeed difficult for everyone; they have to let go of a child’s privilege and carry the responsibilities of adults, all the while looking for their identity. And it is even more so for Annemarie, the heroine of Number the Stars book who grew up in Denmark during the World War II in 1943.

“It was only in the fairy tales that people were called upon to be so brave, to die for one another. Not in real-life Denmark.” This is the thing that Annemarie the ten-year-old struggles with throughout the story in Number the Stars book, which was set in the Denmark occupied by the Nazis. It is at this time that the German decided to relocate all the Jews people in Denmark, which includes Rosen, Annemarie’s best friend. While the adults in the story acted perfectly like what the good ones in a fairy tales would: protect the weak and innocent, even when it costs their lives; Annemarie was not sure if she could do the same.

Number The Star Book by Lois Lowry
Number The Star Book by Lois Lowry

This is why Number The Stars book remains a classic since its publication in 1989: it addresses such a realistic problem that many young adults have to face and struggle with. Now that they have past their time to be protected by others, will they sacrifice themselves to protect someone else? What is bravery? Where does it come from? What if Annemarie was not born with bravery? What is war? As all the adults around her are so busy with counteractions for the war, Annemarie has to resolve all of this for herself.

As Annemarie’s parents decided to use their bravery and protect their Jewish friends, it also means pushing Annemarie into a dangerous situation that could have been avoided. In fact, Annemarie herself has to go through the enemy’s troop with guns, sticks, and hatred in Number the Stars book. What should she do? What would she do?

Through the eyes of Annemarie, a Danish girl, we watch the Holocaust from another  perspective with a simple method of delivery with hints of fairy tales and even humorous instances. Yet still, the book shows the terrors of wars clearly. Number the stars book has earned numerous awards for young adults, as well as the National Jewish Book Award for its importance for the people who honor the Jewish history and culture. This can be easily explained, as the Holocaust is not only about their immediate victims, but also about the ones behind the scene that had to watch their loved ones suffer?

Wars, the Holocaust, friendship, family, morals, all are big problems to address, but Lowry did an excellent job in the Number The Stars book. We suggest this book to those who are seeking the reasons for adulthood, another viewpoint of the holocaust, as well as any literature lover.

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