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Number the Stars
Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
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Number the Stars Theme of Courage

First things first: all of the good-guy characters in Number the Stars are courageous. We just wanted to lay that out there. Okay, moving on. Usually we associate bravery and courage with doing big things and making grand gestures. You know, drawing your sword to face a dragon or coming up with the guts to stare down the school bully. And Annemarie definitely has this kind of courage. She travels through the woods by herself, fending off Nazis (and Nazi dogs!) along the way. But in Number the Stars, our wise little lady learns that it's sometimes easier to be brave if you're kept in the dark; some things are just too scary to face. What do you think? Is ignorance bliss? Or should we always be ready to face what comes our way?

Questions About Courage

  1. Who is the book's bravest character? Who is the most cowardly?
  2. Annemarie learns that sometimes it's easier to be brave if you don't really know what you're up against. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why? 
  3. According to the descriptions in the book, do you think Denmark's King Christian is brave? Why or why not?
  4. How are the courage that Annemarie shows and the courage that Ellen shows different? How are they similar?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The most courageous act in the book is when Annemarie carries the mysterious package to Henrik. Talk about bravery.

Peter's courage is inspired by Lise's death. He has an easier time throwing himself into the cause of the Resistance because he has less to lose.

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