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afterwhat

afterwhat

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry It's 1943, and ten-year old Annemarie Johansen lives in a Nazi-occupied Copenhagen. She lives with her parents and her little sister, Kirsti, and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, lives just down the hall with her family. On the night of the Jewish New Year, the Rosens are forced to flee their home, and Ellen is left, scared and worried, with the Johansens. During the effort to reunite the Rosens, to save the lives of Ellen and her family, Annemarie must look inside of herself for the courage to do what's right, nevermind the risk.

Yes, I am embarrassed to have not read this before. Annemarie is an everygirl; there's nothing extraordinary about her, which works very well here, because anyone could relate to her. It's tense and scary without being graphic, without explicitly saying...well, anything really, about the holocaust. It's subtle, appropriate even for sensitive children, but nothing is downplayed or minimized; it's still somber, grave and serious and it all still feels extremely important.

And I cried, but only when I read the author's note.