"How brave are you, little Annemarie?" Uncle Henrik asks his ten-year-old niece. It is 1943, and to Annemarie Johansen, life in Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school life, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. Bravery seems a vague virtue, one possessed by dragon-slaying knights in the bedtime stories she tells her younger sister, Kirsti. Too soon, she herself is called upon for courage.
As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, the Johansens take in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is part of the family. Ellen and Annemarie must think quickly when three Nazi officers arrive late one night and question why Ellen is not blond, like her sisters.
Through Annemarie's eyes, we see the Danish Resistance as they manage to smuggle almost the entire Jewish population, nearly 7000 people, across the sea to Sweden.
The next book that we will read is entitled Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. It is an account of Annemarie Johansen who is living in 1943 Denmark. The Nazis have taken over Denmark and are beginning to "relocate" the Jews. The story tells of Annemarie's encounter when her best friend, Ellen Rosen, becomes the target of the relocation efforts.
The story is historical fiction but is based upon actual events and facts. Much of the story is told in a way that the reasons for the events are unclear; just as the events were to Annemarie. Not telling all the facts kept people safe during the war. By the end, Annemarie has figured out all the reasons behind the "strange" actions that were occuring around her.
For this piece of literature, we will focus on the rising and falling action of the plot along with the climaxes in the story. We will also work on building in depth answers to questions and learn how to extend the answer beyond the questions.
The links on this page are
designed to allow further exploration of the topics that are inherent
in the story. The book is about the "relocation" of the Jews in Denmark, but it does not involve a discussion of the Holocaust.
The Countries Involved in the Story
The map shows Denmark and
the surrounding area.
King Christian X of Denmark
World War II Links
The Treatment of the Jews
Anne Frank-An Unfinished Story
Holocaust Stamps from the Children of Israel
Resistance and Survivor Stories
Daring to Resist
Rescuers from the Holocaust
Denmark's Brave Resistance Fighters
Who is a Jew?
What is Judaism?
Signs and Symbols
Common Expressions and Sayings
Number the Stars author, Lois Lowry