Study Guide

Number the Stars Chapter 8

By Lois Lowry

Chapter 8

There Has Been a Death

  • Annemarie doesn't sleep very well. She can tell when her uncle goes to milk the cows, and she wakes up before Ellen.
  • Annemarie can tell that her mom and Kirsti are already up, too, so she goes to join them and lets Ellen stay in bed. A little extra sleep never hurt.
  • Kirsti has adopted the kitten the girls had found the day before. She named him Thor, and is taking care of him pretty well. 
  • The visitors are all benefiting from being on Henrik's farm, at least in the food department. Because he has a cow, they have cream and butter, which are both huge treats.
  • Annemarie and her mom talk about how the foreign soldiers are taking everything from them. Usually they'd take the butter, too.
  • The Johansen ladies manage to find the humor in their conversation, and Ellen eventually wakes up and joins them.
  • Later that day, Annemarie and Ellen have some quality BFF time exploring the farm. They gather flowers while Annemarie's mom cleans the whole farmhouse (hmmm, doesn't sound like quite a fair trade-off to us…).
  • When Henrik returns, he and Mrs. Johansen joke about how he should get married. 
  • During the conversation, Annemarie realizes that the grown-ups are speaking in code again—something about "fishing." She doesn't quite know what it means, but it can't be good.
  • Then Henrik announces some strange news: they're going to have a funeral that night for Great-aunt Birte, coffin and all.
  • Annemarie doesn't get it: she's pretty sure they don't have a Great-aunt Birte.