Number the Stars Book Summary - Number the Stars Book explained in key points

Number the Stars summary

Lois Lowry

Brief summary

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a historical fiction novel set during World War II. It tells the story of a young Danish girl named Annemarie who helps save her Jewish best friend from the Nazis.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Number the Stars
    Summary of key ideas

    The Burden of War and the Secret Mission

    In Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, we find ourselves transported to Copenhagen, 1943, during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. The story is told through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl, Annemarie Johansen, who, together with her family and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, confronts the atrocities of war on a daily basis.

    Ellen is a Jewish girl caught in a dangerous and increasingly hostile environment. When the Nazis begin to "relocate" the Jews in Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens, passing as one of their daughters to hide from the soldiers. A risky rescue operation unfolds, as Annemarie's parents join the Danish Resistance, secretly helping the Rosens and other Jews to escape to neutral Sweden.

    Navigating Fear and Courage

    Throughout their ordeal, we observe Annemarie grappling with her fear of the Nazi soldiers and her longing for a normal life without war—simple games in the fields, running races, and school. However, the harsh realities of conflict mean she must grow up fast. She learns about bravery and sacrifices, bearing witness to her parents' underground efforts to help their Jewish friends.

    Alongside this tension, Lowry also beautifully captures the bond between Annemarie and Ellen. Despite their different backgrounds and circumstances, they share a strong and unshakeable friendship that carries them through these trying times. This unlikely duo imparts a lesson on the power of tolerance, unity, and love, especially in times of conflict.

    The Lifeline of Hope

    As the plot unfolds in Number the Stars, we follow Annemarie on a crucial mission to deliver a package to her Uncle Henrik's boat—an operation that, if successful, will ensure the safe passage of Ellen and her family to Sweden. The intensity of this moment is heightened as Annemarie faces a terrifying encounter with Nazi soldiers. Nonetheless, she tricks them, allowing the vital escape operation to proceed successfully.

    This climactic point of the novel highlights the danger and suspense inherent in the resistance's efforts. It draws attention to the unfathomable bravery exhibited not only by the adults but also by the young character like Annemarie, coaxed into courage by her loyalty to her friend and her innate desire for justice and freedom.

    A Triumph of Love over Hate

    At the end of Number the Stars, the Rosens make it safely to Sweden. The war ends, and Denmark is finally free from Nazi occupation. But while the country celebrates victory, Annemarie mourns the loss of her older sister, Lise, whose death is revealed to have been tied to the resistance movement. Still, strength stays with Annemarie as she keeps her promise to Ellen by taking care of her friend's necklace—a Star of David pendant—until they are reunited again.

    In conclusion, Number the Stars is a poignant portrayal of friendship, courage, and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity. The story resonates with themes of unity, resilience and the triumph of love over hate - a timeless tale appropriate for readers of all ages.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Number the Stars about?

    Number the Stars is a historical fiction novel by Lois Lowry. Set in Denmark during World War II, the book tells a story of bravery and resilience as a young girl named Annemarie helps her Jewish friend escape the Nazis. It explores themes of friendship, courage, and the power of standing up against injustice.

    About the Author

    Lois Lowry is an acclaimed author known for her impactful storytelling and thought-provoking themes. With a career spanning several decades, she has written numerous highly regarded books for children and young adults. Some of her most notable works include The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger. Lowry's ability to tackle complex topics in a sensitive and accessible way has earned her prestigious awards, including the Newbery Medal, making her a beloved figure in the literary world.

    Categories with Number the Stars

    Book summaries like Number the Stars

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial