Study Guide

Number the Stars Afterword

By Lois Lowry


  • In the Afterword, the author explains that her book is a novel inspired by real events, including the histories of her friend Annelise and a Resistance fighter named Kim Malthe-Bruun.
  • Many of the events discussed in the book really happened. Here are some examples: the King riding around Denmark by himself; the young boy saying that all of Denmark would guard the King; the Danish military destroying their own ships; the local rabbis warning Jews of the coming danger from the Nazis; and even the use of altered handkerchiefs to ward off Nazi dogs.
  • The author explains that "almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark—nearly seven thousand people—was smuggled across the sea to Sweden" (Afterword.11).
  • The author shares the story of Malthe-Bruun, who remained hopeful even up to his execution by the Nazis, and recommends that people today must keep working on his dream to "create an ideal of human decency" (Afterword.19).
  • Pretty inspiring ending, if you ask us.