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Number the Stars | Study Guide

Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars | Chapter 12 : Where Was Mama? | Summary



Mrs. Johansen prepares to lead the Rosens to the ship. They each tell Annemarie goodbye, and then they are gone. Outside, Mr. Rosen tripped on a step that was loose outside the kitchen door. Annemarie waits up for her mother, but eventually she falls asleep. When she wakes, it's not quite dawn. She looks through the house for her mother, but she is not there. Then she looks out the window, and she sees a shape on the path: "It was her mother, lying on the earth."


Annemarie is brave enough to be home, waiting alone in the dark with Kirsti. It is not as frightening as what her best friend, Ellen, faces, or what her mother, her uncle, or Peter Neilsen face. Here, though, as earlier in the novel, Annemarie faces the challenges she is given. In fact, many characters in the book do so. All around her Annemarie sees examples of courage and strength. Even injured, Mrs. Johansen comes home. She has gone into the woods, completed her mission, and returned to her family. In doing so, she demonstrates the strength that stands as an example to Annemarie.

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