Friday, April 5, 2013

Children's Literature: Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

 Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. Sandpiper; Reissue Edition, 2011. (156 pages)
In this work of historical fiction, Lois Lowry tells the poignant story of a family in occupied Denmark who endanger themselves to help their Jewish friends escape from the Nazis. The heroine is a ten-year old girl named Annemarie who is willing to be brave like the brave adults she observes in her life.
Lowry includes an epilogue explaining to her readers which parts of her story were written purely from her imagination and which parts were based on true events. She goes into detail about documents she read, a picture she saw, and research concerning the fateful handkerchief which Annemarie delivers in the story. This section would be fabulous for children to read and a great way for educators to show young readers what an author of historical fiction does to create these sorts of books. I was very struck by Lowry’s description of the photo she found of the boy who was a very young resistance fighter.
The story itself was easy to read although it covered serious subject matter. I like the discussions on bravery and looking out for human rights, as the real life people which this story celebrates are people with such an important lesson to teach all of us.

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