Tomi Carrillo

Written by Tomi Carrillo

Modified & Updated: 09 Jul 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


"Number the Stars" is a compelling historical novel written by Lois Lowry, set in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. The story follows the brave journey of ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her family as they risk their lives to save their Jewish friends from the Nazis. This timeless tale of courage, friendship, and resilience has captivated readers of all ages since its publication in 1989.

In this article, we will delve into 19 fascinating facts about "Number the Stars," shedding light on the author's inspiration, the historical context of the novel, and its enduring impact on literature and readers worldwide. From the real-life heroes who inspired the characters to the historical accuracy woven into the narrative, these facts will deepen your appreciation for this remarkable work of historical fiction. Join us as we unravel the captivating story behind "Number the Stars" and explore the profound impact it has made on readers for over three decades.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Number the Stars” is a captivating novel about bravery, friendship, and sacrifice during World War II, showcasing the heroism of the Danish people and inspiring acts of kindness and compassion.
  • Lois Lowry’s timeless tale of courage continues to resonate with readers of all ages, encouraging empathy, instilling moral responsibility, and illuminating the enduring power of literature to inspire and uplift.
Table of Contents

The novel was first published in 1989.

Lois Lowry's Number the Stars was initially released in 1989, captivating readers with its poignant narrative set against the backdrop of World War II.

It won the Newbery Medal in 1990.

The novel received the prestigious Newbery Medal, a testament to its exceptional literary merit and profound impact on readers of all ages.

The story is based on true events.

Lois Lowry drew inspiration from the true accounts of Danish resistance fighters and the remarkable efforts to save Jewish lives during the Nazi occupation of Denmark.

The protagonist, Annemarie Johansen, demonstrates remarkable bravery.

Annemarie, the young protagonist, exhibits extraordinary courage as she plays a pivotal role in aiding her Jewish friend and confronting the perils of wartime Denmark.

The novel sheds light on the heroism of the Danish people during World War II.

Number the Stars portrays the unwavering bravery and compassion of the Danish citizens who risked their lives to protect their Jewish compatriots from Nazi persecution.

The Rosen family's escape to Sweden mirrors real-life events.

The harrowing journey of the Rosen family to seek refuge in Sweden reflects the experiences of numerous Jewish families who sought safety during the tumultuous wartime era.

The novel emphasizes the power of friendship and solidarity.

Number the Stars underscores the profound bonds of friendship and solidarity, showcasing how individuals unite in the face of adversity to safeguard one another.

It highlights the theme of sacrifice.

The novel poignantly illustrates the sacrifices made by individuals to uphold their principles and protect those in need, resonating with readers on a deeply emotional level.

The book is a poignant portrayal of wartime Denmark.

Through vivid storytelling, Number the Stars offers a compelling depiction of the challenges and resilience of the Danish people amidst the Nazi occupation, providing a window into history for readers.

It is a valuable educational resource.

The novel serves as an educational tool, offering insight into the human experiences of World War II and prompting discussions on empathy, bravery, and moral responsibility.

The author conducted extensive research for the novel.

Lois Lowry meticulously researched the historical context of the novel, ensuring an authentic portrayal of the wartime setting and the courageous actions of the Danish resistance.

The novel has been translated into numerous languages.

Number the Stars has been translated into multiple languages, allowing its powerful message to reach diverse audiences worldwide and transcend cultural boundaries.

It continues to resonate with readers of all ages.

Decades after its initial publication, Number the Stars remains a beloved and influential work, captivating readers young and old with its timeless themes and compelling narrative.

The novel has been adapted for the stage.

The enduring impact of Number the Stars led to its adaptation into a stage play, further extending its reach and bringing its powerful story to live audiences.

It is a staple in school curricula.

Many educational institutions incorporate Number the Stars into their curricula, recognizing its significance in fostering discussions on history, morality, and human resilience.

The novel has garnered critical acclaim.

Number the Stars has received widespread critical acclaim, earning accolades for its poignant storytelling and its ability to engage readers with the historical narrative.

It encourages empathy and compassion.

The novel prompts readers to empathize with the characters' experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of the impact of war and the importance of compassion in times of adversity.

The story's enduring relevance reflects its universal themes.

The enduring relevance of Number the Stars stems from its universal themes of courage, friendship, and the indomitable human spirit, resonating with readers across generations.

It continues to inspire acts of kindness and bravery.

The enduring legacy of Number the Stars is evident in its ability to inspire acts of kindness, bravery, and compassion, reinforcing the timeless values it espouses.

Lois Lowry's Number the Stars stands as a testament to the enduring power of literature to illuminate the past, inspire empathy, and instill a sense of moral responsibility. Through its vivid portrayal of wartime Denmark and the extraordinary acts of bravery and compassion, the novel continues to captivate readers and serve as a poignant reminder of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. As readers journey through the pages of Number the Stars, they are invited to witness the indelible impact of friendship, courage, and sacrifice, ensuring that the novel's profound message endures for generations to come.


In conclusion, "Number the Stars" is a compelling historical novel that vividly portrays the challenges faced by individuals during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Through the lens of friendship, bravery, and resilience, the story resonates with readers of all ages, offering valuable insights into the human spirit and the power of standing up against injustice. With its rich historical context and memorable characters, this timeless tale continues to captivate and educate readers about the impact of World War II on ordinary people. Lois Lowry's masterful storytelling and meticulous research have solidified "Number the Stars" as a poignant and enduring literary work that serves as a poignant reminder of the indomitable strength of the human heart.


What is the historical significance of "Number the Stars"?"Number the Stars" holds significant historical importance as it sheds light on the heroic efforts of the Danish people during the Nazi occupation in World War II. The novel provides a compelling portrayal of the resistance movement and the rescue of Danish Jews, offering valuable insights into this lesser-known aspect of the war.

How does "Number the Stars" resonate with readers today?"Number the Stars" continues to resonate with readers due to its timeless themes of friendship, courage, and resilience in the face of adversity. The universal messages of hope and standing up against injustice make the novel relevant to contemporary audiences, fostering empathy and understanding of historical events.

"Number the Stars" beautifully captures a poignant chapter in history, leaving readers inspired by its timeless themes. For those captivated by the wonders above, our articles on star systems and stellar populations offer mind-expanding insights into the cosmos. And if you're seeking a touch of whimsy for your workspace, our guide to the best executive desk toys is sure to delight.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.