Monday, June 22, 2015

Audiobook: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry by Blair Brown
Time: 2 hours 47 minutes

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.

My Thoughts: I've been wanting to read this book for many years. I've read half of The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry and highly enjoyed them. I was curious to read the type of historical fiction genre Lowry wrote. Being constantly busy, I was excited when I found an audio copy at my library. I was finally going to be able to "read" this book.

Like many children's books about the Holocaust, Number the Stars gave a vague account of a tragic time in history yet still kept the story interesting. The plot centered around two friends, one Jewish and the other not, and how they kept loyal to each other when the Nazis began to relocate the Jewish. The book did not go into great detail of the atrocities of the war, but it did give a sense on how bad it was. Listening to Annemarie's story and her friend Ellen's was heartwarming yet bittersweet. I was fascinated to learn how Denmark's people did everything possible to save their Jewish citizens. I ended up learning about a piece of history that hardly gets talked about.

As an adult, I wish there was more to this book, but as a children's book it was perfect. I would have liked for the characters and the events to have been developed more. I wanted to learn more about the Jewish people of Denmark and about the handkerchiefs. The "Afterword" was perhaps the best part of this book because it gave a bit more information on what was fact and what was fiction. It heightened my curiosity tremendously that I spent hours searching for more information. However, this is a children's book and the amount of information that it had was enough for a child to handle without traumatizing him/her. 

This production was brilliantly narrated by Blair Brown. She was able to change her voice to represent each of the characters, making the characters come alive. She was also able to create the mood of the story with her pitch and tempo of her voice. Brown  made the book more appealing to me even when I kept wishing for more descriptive details.

Overall, this audiobook was well done. I was able to mark off another book from my TBR wishlist and I learned valuable historical information that I would never encounter on my own. Yes, I would have liked this book to have more ellaborations with the characters and events, but it was still a great children's book. I rate it:



  1. I was curious to read your review of Number the Stars as I read this book last year. It sounds like you had a better experience with the audio edition that by reading the book itself. Blair Brown sounds like she did a marvelous job narrating this book and perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more if I'd heard the audio edition instead.

    I'd wanted to read Number the Stars as I had enjoyed reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. I really enjoyed reading The Giver a lot. However, I was a bit disappointed with Number The Stars as I found it very lackluster compared with the impact I felt while reading The Giver... There was a lot of food for thought while reading The Giver that just wasn't there for me while reading Number the Stars. The best part of Number the Stars (for me anyway) was the last four chapters.

    Yes, I think Number the Stars contains valuable historical information in it that is appropriate for kids, but I've read better books on the topic than Number the Stars... I personally liked Jerry Spinelli's book, Milkweed, far better as a children's book regarding the Holocaust, Jews and Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II.

    I've also read a few books for adults on the topic as that well that I felt were valuable learning tools regarding the Holocaust.

    1. I completely agree with you that there are other books out there that are better that talk about the holocaust. For me, I was introduced to a new side of the war that I have never heard of before. This intrigued me the most about Number the Stars. And yes, The Giver is a much powerful book by Lois Lowry.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my review :D

  2. To me, it's the sign of a great author when you are spurred to research because of what you read!

    1. It was a great sign to me too. That's why I gave it a 4 star rating. If I wasn't inspired to do any research on my own, I would have perhaps given this book 3 stars.