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Number the Stars

Main Ideas

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