Number the Stars | Study Guide

Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars | Chapter 13 : Run! As Fast As You Can! | Summary



Annemarie goes out to her mother, who says she is all right and that the Rosens are with Uncle Henrik. She tells Annemarie she was halfway home when she tripped over a root. She had broken her ankle but crawled home, and now, she says, they will call the doctor and say she fell on the stairs.

Then Annemarie sees the packet Peter Neilsen had given Mr. Rosen. It must have fallen out of his pocket when he fell on the steps outside the house on his way to Henrik's boat. Her mother says, "It may all have been for nothing." Annemarie knows the packet contains something very important and offers to take it to Uncle Henrik. Her mother has her get a basket and put the packet, an apple, and cheese in it. Annemarie adds some bread. Her mother tells her if "anyone stops you, you must pretend to be nothing more than a little girl. A silly, empty-headed little girl taking lunch to a fisherman." She sends Annemarie off, urging her to run.


Here is the moment when an ordinary person, a child, must act in a very courageous way. This point comes after numerous prior experiences when Annemarie demonstrated courage: facing the soldiers when she was coming home from school, hiding Ellen's Star of David necklace when the soldiers came to the apartment, facing the soldiers while knowing the funeral is a fake, and staying home alone while her mother and uncle rescue their Jewish neighbors and friends.

This time, however, there is no one at her side. Annemarie is alone in her act of courage, and the lives of others rest on her ability to succeed. This is a heavy weight to put on anyone; it is an enormous weight to put on a 10-year-old girl. At the beginning of the novel Annemarie believed that "an ordinary person would never be called on for courage." As the novel has progressed she has learned that she was grossly mistaken. Ordinary people are asked to act courageously, and Annemarie has done so admirably. Courage is taught by her parents, her best friends, the Rosens, Peter Neilsen, Uncle Henrik, and the Jews who gathered at the fake funeral. All of those lessons and small acts of courage culminate in this—a perilous journey through the woods in the face of great danger to save friends and strangers alike.

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