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Number the Stars

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · Number the Stars

author ·  Lois Lowry

type of work ·  Young adult novel

genre ·  Historical fiction; war novel; coming-of-age novel

language ·  English

time and place written ·  1989, U.S.

date of first publication ·  1989

publisher ·  Houghton Mifflin Company

narrator ·  Third person omniscient

point of view ·  The story is told from Annemarie Johansen's point of view

tone ·  Introspective; serious; matter-of-fact

tense ·  Immediate past tense

setting (time) ·  World War II, from September 1943 to May 1945

setting (place) ·  Copenhagen, Denmark, and Gilleleje, Denmark

protagonist ·  Annemarie Johansen

climax ·  Ellen and the others escape as Annemarie races against time and bad odds to her uncle's boat to deliver the crucial important packet

falling action ·  Uncle Henrik delivers his passengers to Sweden safely; Mrs. Johansen and her daughters return home; the war ends; Annemarie anticipates Ellen's return

themes ·  The difficulty of growing up; voyage and transformation; fairy tales

motifs ·  Truth-seeking versus self protection; the deceit of appearances; acting in wartime

symbols ·  The seashell, the Star of David, the woods

foreshadowing ·  Often, whatever Annemarie hopes will not happen is what occurs. Little Red Riding-Hood foreshadows Annemarie's own trip through the forest