Number the Stars

by

Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars: Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After the solider leaves, Papa grows worried. He knows that the soldiers are now suspicious of their family. As the sky begins to lighten, Annemarie worries aloud about how tired she and Ellen will be in school after a sleepless night—but Papa suggests the girls stay home from school, as the Nazis may go there looking for Jewish children, too. He calls Mama into the room and tells her that it might be time to take the girls on a “vacation” to her brother Henrik’s home by the sea. Mama agrees, but says that she alone should be the one to take the girls so as not to arouse additional suspicion.
Though Annemarie sees the incident with the Nazis as the end of their family’s struggle with the soldiers and begins looking ahead to how to move on, Papa knows that it is just the beginning—as does Mama. They decide to remove the girls from the city in order to protect them. Already, things are more serious than Annemarie ever dreamed they’d be.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
While Papa goes to the phone to call Uncle Henrik, Annemarie explains to Ellen that her uncle is a fisherman who lives out at the coast. He goes out on his boat early every morning, and from the edge of the meadow near his house, one can look out across the water all the way to Sweden. Annemarie overhears her father’s phone conversation, in which he tells Henrik that Mama will be bringing “a carton of cigarettes” to him later on in the day. Annemarie knows that there are no cigarettes to be found anywhere in Copenhagen, though, and realizes that her Papa is speaking about Ellen in code.
Though Annemarie originally believes that they really are simply going on a vacation, it soon becomes clear from the coded way Papa speaks about Ellen that there is a larger scheme going on, and that even in the countryside, the family will have to be careful to keep the truth of Ellen’s identity hidden.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
Sisterhood Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Annemarie, Ellen, Kirsti, and Mama make their way by train north along the Danish coast. The trip is beautiful, and Ellen is enchanted by the sights of nature and the many small villages they pass. The joy of the trip is hampered, though, when Nazis enter the train car and begin interrogating passengers. One officer asks Mama where she’s going, and when she says she’ visiting her brother at the coast, he asks if she’s going to celebrate the New Year. Mama plays dumb, and says it’s only October—too early for the New Year. When the excited Kirsti shows the soldier her new black shows, he laughs and moves on.
Even the peaceful train journey is interrupted by the presence of Nazi soldiers, signaling to both Annemarie and to the reader that things in Demark are growing more and more dire for Jews—or for anyone who dares to oppose the occupying regime.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
As the women step off the train and into the fresh seaside air, they feel relieved to be away from the soldiers—but still anxious. Mama, Ellen, Kirsti, and Annemarie begin the walk to Uncle Henrik’s house, and Mrs. Johansen remarks on how the neighborhood has changed. As Kirsti and Annemarie recognize more and more of the landscape and realize they are getting close to Henrik’s house, Kirsti asks to run ahead. Mama allows her to go, and, as she puts her arms around Ellen, instructs Kirsti to tell Henrik that they’ve brought along “a friend.”
Though Annemarie’s Mama knows more than anyone how much is at stake in the act of merely sheltering Ellen, she never sees the girl’s presence as a burden, and is instead happy to call Ellen a “friend” for whom she is making a conscious, willing sacrifice. 
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Sisterhood Theme Icon
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