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Number the Stars | Study Guide

Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars | Character Analysis


Ellen Rosen

Ellen, who is Annemarie Johansen's best friend, is one of the many Jews under threat by Nazi soldiers stationed in Denmark. She stands out with her dark hair and Star of David necklace. When the rabbi learns the Nazis are planning to deport Jews, Ellen's parents leave her with the Johansens, where she pretends to be Lise, their daughter who has died.

Annemarie Johansen

Annemarie is, like her best friend Ellen, a young Danish girl. Annemarie, like many Danes, is blonde. Her family is hiding Ellen. Annemarie bravely faces soldiers, hides Ellen's Star of David necklace, and ultimately delivers an important handkerchief to confuse Nazi dogs.

Mrs. Johansen

She accompanies Annemarie and Ellen to her brother Henrik's house where Ellen can be smuggled out of the country. She lies to the Nazi soldiers and gets injured in helping rescue the Jews. She is a constant source of hope, strength, and courage to her family and friends.

Mr. Johansen

He actively helps protect Ellen, and he remains optimistic despite the war. His words of comfort to Annemarie show his faith in the ability of good to overcome evil, and his actions are in keeping with his words.

Uncle Henrik

Uncle Henrik helps to get several Jews to safety in Sweden and helps them feel comfortable in the process. He also helps his niece, Annemarie, to better understand the concept of courage and its importance in times of difficulty.

Peter Neilsen

Peter is the Johansen family's connection to the Resistance. As the family's mysterious late night guest, Peter often appears with contraband items. His devotion to the Resistance is seen in both his risk-taking and his flare of anger at the soldiers at Henrik's house. Peter is both passionate and kind, and Annemarie admires him.

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