My N post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and for ABCWednesday as well is Number the Stars. by Lois Lowry. I am catching up with visiting and commenting and will try to keep up with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge – April 2018 and the Ultimate Blog Challenge – April 2018. (Please read my note to my readers here )
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: This book took me through a gamut of emotions as I read it. The reason I picked it up was because my daughter had to read it at school, and I have always tried to read the books they are reading (as part of required reading at school or otherwise, an exception – books like the Wimpy Kid series) as much as possible.
Ellen cupped one hand over her eyes and looked across the water at the misty shoreline that was another country. “It’s not so very far,” she said.
“Maybe,” Annemarie suggested, “standing over there are two girls just our age, looking across and saying, ‘That’s Denmark!'”
Reading this as an adult did make me see it differently from how my then 10 year old daughter viewed it, but there was one thing in common for both of us – we loved the book and were inspired, were hopeful, had a tear or two in our eyes with smiles in between as well, and awed by basic human decency that shines through in this book. The ordinary person is the superhero here and by showing us that, and showing how everyone (including little Annemarie) face their fears and face the evil that is war to be human(e), Lowry teaches a powerful lesson – that each of us (and together, even more so) can be a hero/stand up for what is right. I also learned so many amazing facts about the Danish Resistance and its everyday heroes along with facts about the holocaust itself.
One message that Lowry writes about in the afterword – mentioned as part of a letter from Kim Malthe-Bruun(a member of the Danish Resistance who was executed by the Nazis) to his mother:
…and I want you all to remember—that you must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one. That is the great gift our country hungers for, something every little peasant boy can look forward to, and with pleasure feel he is a part of—something he can work and fight for.
This book is a must read and one you can read in a matter of a couple of hours or lesser (like I did earlier today when I was completing this post)!!
This goes towards ABC Wednesday‘s round 22 – letter N (my theme for ABC Wednesday’s Round 22 as you might have already guessed, is children’s books – I will pick one popular (and sometimes the not so popular/the unknown) book – classic/modern/old/new… – and write about it – be it a backstory or facts or something else completely).
2020 update: Check out this article about a 2017 interview with Lois Lowry regarding the true story behind Number the Stars.
And for Within Books for the A to Z Challenge, here is something I wrote earlier on my blog, reusing it here for this post: Found Poetry from within the pages of ‘Number the Stars’. You can read more about the how and why of this poem in my previous post.
From Chapter 17 of the book ‘Number the Stars’ by Lois Lowry
When Freedom Gleamed
Churchbells rang, people wept
In every window, eyes bright
Flowers on a numbered ground
A memory, discolored, but still with hope
Hope – tended and polished,
Brought music to sound,
People as neighbors, as friends
Q to the Reader: Have you read this book? If so, what was it that has stayed in your memory about this book? If not, what simple act of everyday heroism do you recall from a book you read?
14 thoughts on “Those Everyday Numberless Stars Among Us”
Not sure how I missed this book, as I have read other works by this author. I will have to make a mental note to look in our local library soon. This looks intriguing. It might be something I could share with a younger family member.
Thanks for visiting Nickers and Ink Poetry and Humor.
Happy April A-Z. We’re halfway!
i have discovered many books because my kids are reading them!! and yes, this is definitely something you can read with young ones.. my daughter read it in 4th grade.. and i read ‘the giver’ when my son read it as part of 7th grade reading…and yes, halfway through!!!!
I recall this was required reading for all my children and step-children- despite that some went to a Jewish Day School, a Catholic elementary school, public schools, and a private academy.
i am glad my kids have to do so much reading and glad for the varied selections as i have learned of many new books (new for me) this way
Great review. It is impressive when an author can educate about such an atrocity in a delicate manner.
I enjoy your posts and love your style
thank you so much DJ, coming from you, it does mean a lot!
I don’t know, but my daughter might like this.
I think she will. This is endearing.
I have never read this one but I can see why it’s required reading in school.
I am glad when I discover such beautiful reads, so thanks to all the required reading in the kids’ schools!
Great post and thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.
thank you Kati