A True Representation of Historical Fiction.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is an award winning novel that has captured the hearts of many children and adults. It deals with the struggles of a young girl and her family that occur during World War II. This evaluation will determine if Number the Stars is a "good" representation of a historical fiction. I will be basing my evaluation on the criteria given on page 223 of the Russell book "What Makes Good Historical Fiction?" I will first discuss the true-to-life setting of the book. The second point I will discuss is how the historical details are included in the book.
The Newberry winning young adult novel, Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry tells a tale of a ten-year-girl living in occupied Denmark. There, Nazi soldiers on the street corners are a common occurrence. Although life was hard for Annemarie and her family, between food shortages, the loss of their eldest daughter, and fear of the Nazis, life just got harder. Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, is Jewish. All the Jewish citizens of Denmark are being rounded up and "relocated". Their "relocation" is to concentration camps. Ellen and her family share this fate, unless Annemarie and her family do something to stop it. Ellen spends the night at Annemarie's house, although her parents are no where to be found. After an encounter with Nazi soldiers, Ellen, Annemarie, her mother and sister all travel into the countryside where there is a Resistance to the Nazi power. Strange things keep happening once they reach the country, like having a funeral for an aunt that never existed. The whole book plays on the idea of "ignorance is bliss", for when Annemarie learns her own family is a part of the Resistance, she must do her part to save her best friend's life.
The setting of this novel is entirely believable. It gives the reader the sense that they are actually in the period. For example, on page six of Number the Stars, it tells that the mother and her friend sit every day and sip "coffee.