This Post originally appeared on Facebook on April 27, 2020

The Family Book Club Pick for April was Newbery Medal Winner, Number The Stars by Lois Lowry, a captivating story of friendship, challenges and bravery during World War II. Follow the book discussion questions put together by Miss Sandy to hold your own book club at home. If you haven’t yet read Number the Stars, you can find it available for check-out on Overdrive (ebook and audiobook)

graphic of book club questions

Family Book Club Discussion Guide: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  • What are some changes in Annemarie’s home and city caused by the war?   Which change would bother you the most if it happened here?
  • Did you see examples of thoughtfulness and consideration for others in this story.
  • Name some examples of honesty and dishonesty that you read about. How did they make you feel?
  • Why did Lois Lowry choose Number the Stars as the title. What are some other titles you might have chosen?
  • What did you think was the most suspenseful part of the story?
  • What did you think about the soldier who touched Kirsti’s hair and said it reminded him of his daughter?
  • Name some examples of quick thinking that you read in the book.
  • Who do you think had the harder time: Mama who was slapped by the soldier and broke her ankle or Papa who waits and worries and tries to follow his normal routine of buying the newspaper and going to his office?
  • When people come for Great Aunt Berte’s family gathering, why does Annemarie believe that she and her mother become equals.
  • Annemarie lists the sources of pride that the Rosen’s left behind: the candlesticks, books, and dreams of theater. She believes that the Rosens still have some sources of pride. What could those be?
  • Annemarie tells her uncle that she wasn’t brave because she was frightened while she was delivering the basket with the hidden package. Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
  • What did Uncle Henrik mean when he said, “It is much easier to be brave if you do not know everything?”
  • Why did Mrs. Rosen tell the girls not to give the soldiers any reason to remember them?   
  • What parts of the story made you angry? Why? 
  • On page 123, Uncle Henrik says that being brave means not thinking about the dangers, just thinking about what you have to do. Let’s think about courage. Yes, it is shown by soldiers rushing in to battle, police officers standing up to criminals, and firefighters entering burning buildings. But could it also be a mom caring for a sick child? How about visiting a loved one in a nursing home when that loved one doesn’t know you anymore? What other examples could you think of?
  • Does anyone know the importance of the Star of David? What does Ellen’s necklace represent? 
  • Do you think Annemarie will see Ellen again? Why or why not?
  • Discuss how Ellen’s Star of David necklace symbolizes hope. Discuss the significance of Lise’s yellow dress as a hiding place for Ellen’s necklace. How do the citizens of Denmark offer hope to their Jewish friends and neighbors?

Sandy Steinman is a Youth Services Librarian for the Kirkwood Public Library. She has been with the Library since 2009. She is a retired French teacher and enjoys hiking, traveling and reading. Her favorite books are mysteries and historical fiction.