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Themes

War might seem like a far-off, hazy reality for us, but that sure wasn't the case for Annemarie and her family. In Number the Stars, war affects every part of daily life for the Danes. On the survival level, their food supply is limited and they have to be careful about how much heat they use. On the freedom level, they can't go where they want when they want (and we're not talking about a trip to the mall here) without fear of getting in trouble. And, of course, in the end, even ten-year-old Annemarie gets directly involved in the war, helping save Jewish lives from Nazi persecution.

Questions About Warfare

  1. According to the book's characters, why didn't Denmark fight to resist the Nazi invasion? Do you think this was the right decision?
  2. Why do you think the book starts a few years into the war, instead of starting before the war began?
  3. Pick two characters and explain how the war affects their lives. What changes do they have to make? What dangers do they face as a result of the war? 
  4. What do you think happened to Annemarie's family in the two years after the Rosens went to Sweden? Why do you think those years are left out of the book?

Chew on This

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

Lois Lowry should have faced the whole issue of war and the Holocaust head on. She shies away from it too much.

Even though Number the Stars takes place entirely in cities and towns (not right on the battlefield) it still gives us a powerful image of what it means to be living during wartime.

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