Study Guide

Number the Stars Chapter 6

By Lois Lowry

Chapter 6

Is the Weather Good for Fishing?

  • Mr. and Mrs. Johansen, Annemarie, and Ellen try to strategize. After the soldiers' visit, they're all in danger, and they know it.
  • Ellen apologizes for her hair color (can you imagine having to apologize for that?), and Mr. and Mrs. Johansen mention Lise. 
  • Ellen and Annemarie can't go to school—it's not safe. Instead, Mrs. Johansen will "take the girls to Henrik's" (6.13). Although it seems riskier for Mr. Johansen to stay behind, they finally agree that it's actually a better way to keep them all protected. 
  • While Mrs. Johansen gets their stuff ready, Annemarie explains to Ellen (and to us, for that matter!) that Henrik is her uncle on her mother's side. He lives to the north, near the sea. 
  • Annemarie eavesdrops as her father calls Henrik. He says some strange stuff, and she realizes he's using doubletalk: it sounds like he's saying that his wife will bring Henrik cigarettes, but "cigarettes" actually means Ellen. They have to be careful, even on the phone.
  • So Ellen, Annemarie, Kirsti, and Mrs. Johansen take the train over to Henrik's. On the way, the girls enjoy looking at the scenery—a nice break from all the scary stuff that's been going on.
  • But sure enough, they're interrupted by a pair of soldiers who stop to ask the four travelers what they're doing. 
  • Mrs. Johansen says they are taking a trip to see her brother. (True story, actually.) The soldier asks if they are traveling because of the New Year, and Mrs. Johansen acts like she doesn't know what he's talking about.
  • Yep, he's testing to see if they're Jewish.
  • Kirsti speaks up, which freaks everyone out. Annemarie and her mother are worried Kirsti will spill the beans about what's really going on. But Kirsti just wants to talk about her shoes, and the soldiers seem charmed by her. Once again: phew.
  • Finally the ride is over, and they get off the train. They decide to walk through the forest to Henrik's house. 
  • Along the way, they talk about all sorts of things, from castles to Mrs. Johansen's childhood dog that used to meet her after school. (There's never a bad time for a nostalgic story or two.)
  • They eventually get close to Henrik's and Annemarie is allowed to go on beyond the others.