MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Number the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 1989, 144 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 1998, 144 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Where’s Ellen?” Mrs. Rosen had a frightened look.

“Ellen’s in your apartment. She didn’t realize you were here,”

Annemarie explained. “Don’t worry. It wasn’t anything. It was the two soldiers who stand on Osterbrogade–you’ve seen them; you know the tall one with the long neck, the one who looks like a silly giraffe?” She told her mother and Mrs. Rosen of the incident, trying to make it sound humorous and unimportant. But their uneasy looks didn’t change.

“ I slapped his hand and shouted at him,” Kirsti announced importantly.

“No, she didn’t, Mama,” Annemarie reassured her mother. “She’s exaggerating, as she always does.”

Mrs. Johansen moved to the window and looked down to the street below. The Copenhagen neighborhood was quiet; it looked the same as always: people coming and going from the shops, children at play, the soldiers on the corner.

She spoke in a low voice to Ellen’s mother. “They must be edgy because of the latest Resistance incidents. Did you read in De Frie Danske about the bombings in Hillerod and Norrebro?”

Although she pretended to be absorbed in unpacking her schoolbooks, Annemarie listened, and she knew what her mother was referring to. De Frie Danske–The Free Danes__ was an illegal newspaper; Peter Neilson brought it to them occasionally, carefully folded and hidden among ordinary books and papers, and Mama always burned it after she and Papa had read it. But Annemarie heard mama and Papa talk, sometimes at night, about the news they received that way: news of sabotage against the Nazis, bombs hidden and exploded in the factories that produced war materials, and industrial railroad lines damaged so that goods couldn’t be transported.

And she knew what Resistance meant. Papa had explained, when she overheard the word and asked. The Resistance fighters where Danish people–no one knew who, because they were very secret–who were determined to bring harm to the Nazis however they could. They damaged the German trucks and cars, and bombed their factories. They were very brave. Sometimes they were caught and killed.

“I must go and speak to Ellen.” Mrs. Rosen said, moving toward the door. “you girls walk a different way to school. Promise me, Annemarie. And Ellen will promise, too.”

“We will, Mrs. Rosen. But what does it matter? There are German soldiers on every corner.”

“They will remember your faces,” Mrs. Rosen said, turning in the doorway to the hall. “It is important to be one of the crowd, always. Be one of many. Be sure that they never have reason to remember your face.” She diappeared into the hall and closed the door behind her.

“He’ll remember my face, Mama,” Kirsti announced happily, “because he said I look like his little girl. He said I was pretty.”

“If he has such a pretty little, why doesn’t he go back to her like a good father?” Mrs. Johansen murmured, stroking Kirsti’s cheek. “Why doesn’t he go back to his own country?”

“Mama, is there anything to eat?” Annemarie asked, hoping to take her mother’s mind away from the soldiers.

“Take some bread. And give a piece to your sister.”

“With butter?” Kirsti asked hopefully.

“No butter,” her mother replied. “You know that.”

Kirsti sighed as Annemarie went to the breadbox in the kitchen. “I wish I could have a cupcake,” she said. “A big yellow cupcake, with pink frosting.”

Her mother laughed. “For a little girl, you have a long memory,” she told Kirsti. “There hasn’t been any butter, or sugar for cupcakes, for a long time. A year, at least.”

Excerpted from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry Copyright © 1998 by Lois Lowry. Excerpted by permission of Laurel Leaf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
    by Kathleen Rooney

    "Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart" - Booklist, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.