The story is told through the eyes of Anne Marie Johansen, a friend of Ellen Rosen. Both girls are 10 years old and living through the occupation at first unaware of the dangers that they are potentially in. They have heard rumours of Jewish families being located and Anne-Marie discovers that the shops in the neighbourhood that are owned by Jews are suddenly being closed down.
With the help of the ‘Danish Resistance’ Jews are crossing the sea from Denmark to the relative safety of ‘neutral’ Sweden.
Will the Rosens make it? Will the Johansens and their friends get caught aiding them?
Young readers will get caught up in the secrecy and suspense of these actions but are somewhat protected from the implications of capture. In that sense, they are very much like the three girls in the story.
If you are looking for a text to use in class which tells of the events in occupied Europe but without exposing the children to some of the more graphic retellings in novels such as ‘Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ and the wonderful books by Morris Gleitzman.
If children enjoy ‘Number the Stars’ they may also enjoy ‘The Silver Sword’ by Ian Serralier and ‘Hitler’s Canary’ by Sandi Toksvig.
Visit The War and Peace shed for short films about conflict - click here
Erin Pike lives by the sea and she longed to go out to sea on her mum's fishing boat. Unfortunately, even though Erin tries to stowaway on the boat she never gets chance to go out onto the ocean. She is not allowed. The sea is too dangerous. There are legends and tales told in the fishing village about 'The Black Rock.' The Black Rock appears from nowhere and destroys boats; their crew are never seen again!
One day Erin sneaks onto her mums boat and sails out to sea. She comes face to face with The Black Rock and ends up finding out the real secret. Erin lives to tell the tale even if the grown ups of the town do not want to believe all that she tells.
This modern folk tale tells us a story of people and their relationship with things that they do not understand. It reminds me a little of the story of 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes and has themes that echo in this book for older children: 'The Island' by Armin Greder
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After building up a small library of books we thought the time had come to share them!