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“I’ll race you to the corner, Ellen!” Annemarie adjusted the thick leather pack on her back so that her school books balanced evenly. “Ready?” She looked at her best friend.
Ellen made a face. “No,” she said, laughing. “You know I can’t beat you-my legs aren’t as long. Can’t we just walk, like civilized people?” She was a stocky ten year-old, unlike lanky Annemarie.
“We have to practice for the athletic meet on Friday- I know I’m going to win the girls’ race this week. I was second last week, but I’ve been practicing every day. Come on, Ellen,” Annmarie pleaded, eyeing the distance to the next corner of the Copenhagen street. “Please?”
Ellen hesitated, then nodded and shifted her own rucksack of books against her shoulders. “Oh, all right. Ready,” she said.
“Go!” shouted Annemarie, and the two girls were off, racing along the residential sidewalk. Annemarie’s silvery blond hair flew behind her, and Ellen’s dark pigtails bounced against her shoulders.
“Wait for me!” wailed little Kirsti, left behind, but the two older girls weren’t listening.
Annemarie outdistanced her friend quickly, even though one of her shoes came untied as she sped along the street called osterbrograde, past the small shops and cafés of her neighborhood here in northeast Copenhagen. Laughing, she skirted an elderly lady in black who carried a shopping bag made of string. A young woman pushing a baby in a carriage moved aside to make way. The corner was just ahead.
Annemarie looked up, panting, just as she reached the corner. Her laughter stopped. Her heart seemed to skip a beat.
“Halte!” the solider ordered in a stern voice. The German word was familiar as it was frightening. Annemarie had heard it often enough before, but it had never been directed at her until now.
Behind her, Ellen also slowed and stopped. Far back, Kirsti was plodding along, her face in a pout cause the girls hadn’t waited for her.
Annemarie stared up. There was two of them. That meant two helmets, two sets of cold eyes glaring at her, and four shiny boots planted firmly on the sidewalk, blocking her path home.
And it meant two rifles, gripped in the hands of the soldiers. She stared at the rifles first. Then, finally, she looked into the face of the soldier who had ordered her to halt.
“Why are you running?” the harsh voice asked. His Danish was very poor. Three years, Annemarie thought with contempt. Three years they’ve been in our country, and still they can’t speak our language.
“I was racing my friend,” she answered politely. “We have races at school every Friday, and I want to do well, so I —“ Her voice trailed away, the sentence unfinished. Don’t talk so much, she told herself. Just answer them, that’s all.
She glanced back. Ellen was motionless on the sidewalk, a few yards behind her. Farther back, Kirsti was still sulking, and walking slowly toward the corner. Nearby, a woman had come to the doorway of a shop and was standing silently, watching.
One of the soldiers, the taller one, moved toward her. Annemarie recognized him as the one she and Ellen always called, in whispers, “the Giraffe” because of his height and the long neck that extended from his stiff collar. He and his partner were always on this corner.
He prodded the corner of her backpack with the stock of his rifle. Annemarie trembled. “What is in here?” he asked loudly. From the corner of her eye, she saw the shopkeeper move quietly back into the shadows of the doorway, out of sight.
“Schoolbooks,” she answered truthfully.
“Are you a good student?” the soldier asked. He seemed to be sneering.
“Yes.”
“What is your name?”
“Annemarie Johanson.”
“Your friend is she a good student, too?” He was looking beyond her, at Ellen, who hadn’t moved.
Annemarie looked back, too, and saw that Ellen’s face, usually rosy-cheecked, was pale, and her dark eyes were wide.
She nodded at the soldier. “Better than me,” she said.
“What is her name?”
“Ellen.”
“And who is this?” he asked, looking to Annemarie’s side. Kirsti had appeared there suddenly, scowling at everyone.
“My little sister.” She reached down for Kirsti’s hand, but Kirsti, always stubborn, refused it and put her hands on her hips defiantly.
The soldier reached down and stroked her little sister’s short, tangled curls. Stand still, Kirsti, Annemarie ordered silently, praying that somehow the obstinate five-year-old would receive the message.
But Kirsti reached up and pushed the soldier’s hand away. “Don’t,” she said loudly.
Both soldiers began to laugh. They spoke to each other in rapid German that Annemarie couldn’t understand.
“She is pretty, like my own little girl,” the tall one said in a more pleasant voice.
Annemarie tried to smile politely.
“Go home, all of you. Go study your schoolbooks. And don’t run. You look like hoodlums when you run.”
The two soldiers turned away. Quickly Annemarie reached down again and grabbed her sister’s hand before Kirsti could resist. Hurrying the little girl along, she rounded the corner. In a moment Ellen was beside her. They walked quickly not speaking with Kirsti between them, toward the large apartment building where both families lived.
When they were almost home, Ellen whispered suddenly, “I was so scared.”
“Me too,” Annemarie whispered back.
As they turned to enter their building, both girls looked straight ahead, toward the door. They did it purposely so that they would not catch the eyes or the attention of two more soldiers, who stood with their guns on this corner as well. Kirsti scurried ahead of them through the door, chattering about the picture she was bringing home from kindergarten to show Mama. For Kirsti, the soldiers were simply part of the landscape, something that had always been there, on every corner, as unimportant as lampposts, throughout her remembered life.
“Are you going to tell your mother?” Ellen asked Annemarie as they trudged together up the stairs. “I’m not. My mother would be upset.”
“No, I won’t, tell either. Mama would probably scold me for running on the street.”
She said goodbye to Ellen on the second floor, where Ellen lived, and continued to the third, practicing in her mind a cheerful greeting for her mother; a smile, a description of today’s spelling test, in which she had done well.
But she was too late. Kirsti had gotten there first. “and he poked Annemarie’s book bag with his gun, and then he grabbed my hair!” Kirsti was chattering as she took off her sweater in the center of the apartment living room. “But I wasn’t scared. Annemarie was, and Ellen, too. But not me!”
Mrs. Johansen rose quickly from the chair by the window where she’d been sitting. Mrs. Rosen, Ellen’s mother, was there, too, in the opposite chair. They’d been having coffee together, as they did many afternoons. O f course it wasn’t really coffee, though the mothers still called it that; “having coffee.” There had been no real coffee in Copenhagen since the beginning of the Nazi occupation. Not even any real tea. The mothers sipped at hot water flavored with herbs.
“Annemarie, what happened? What is Kirsti talking about?” her mother asked anxiously.
“Where’s Ellen?” Mrs. Rosen had a frightened look.
“Ellen’s in your apartment. She didn’t realize you were here,” Annemarie explained. “Don’t worry. It wasn’t anything. It was the two soldiers who stand on Osterbrogade–you’ve seen them; you know the tall one with the long neck, the one who looks like a silly giraffe?” She told her mother and Mrs. Rosen of the incident, trying to make it sound humorous and unimportant. But their uneasy looks didn’t change.
“ I slapped his hand and shouted at him,” Kirsti announced importantly.
“No, she didn’t, Mama,” Annemarie reassured her mother. “She’s exaggerating, as she always does.”
Mrs. Johansen moved to the window and looked down to the street below. The Copenhagen neighborhood was quiet; it looked the same as always: people coming and going from the shops, children at play, the soldiers on the corner.
She spoke in a low voice to Ellen’s mother. “They must be edgy because of the latest Resistance incidents. Did you read in De Frie Danske about the bombings in Hillerod and Norrebro?”
Although she pretended to be absorbed in unpacking her schoolbooks, Annemarie listened, and she knew what her mother was referring to. De Frie Danske–The Free Danes__ was an illegal newspaper; Peter Neilson brought it to them occasionally, carefully folded and hidden among ordinary books and papers, and Mama always burned it after she and Papa had read it. But Annemarie heard mama and Papa talk, sometimes at night, about the news they received that way: news of sabotage against the Nazis, bombs hidden and exploded in the factories that produced war materials, and industrial railroad lines damaged so that goods couldn’t be transported.
And she knew what Resistance meant. Papa had explained, when she overheard the word and asked. The Resistance fighters where Danish people–no one knew who, because they were very secret–who were determined to bring harm to the Nazis however they could. They damaged the German trucks and cars, and bombed their factories. They were very brave. Sometimes they were caught and killed.
“I must go and speak to Ellen.”... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 156 pages
  • Editeur : HMH Books for Young Readers; Édition : Reissue (2 mai 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0547577095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547577098
  • Dimensions du produit: 0,6 x 12,7 x 17,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 102.708 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Lois Lowry est née en 1937 à Honolulu, dans l'île de Hawaï. Elle vit entre Boston et une vieille ferme à la campagne. Avant de se consacrer entièrement à son métier d'écrivain, elle a travaillé comme journaliste indépendante, écrivain et photographe. Son amour pour les enfants l'a poussée tout naturellement à écrire pour eux. " Partout où je me trouve, dit-elle, que ce soit dans un restaurant, à l'aéroport ou dans une école, je regarde les enfants, j'observe leur comportement et je les écoute parler entre eux. Je me rappelle les événements que j'ai vécus, alors que mes deux garçons et mes deux filles étaient encore jeunes et ces souvenirs inspirent les thèmes de mes livres. " Elle compare les livres à des torrents qui dégringolent des montagnes emportant avec eux cailloux et filets d'eau qui viennent petit à petit les transformer en rivières. À l'instar des rivières, les livres se nourrissent de souvenirs, d'images, de blessures et ce faisant « ouvrent les portes d'un Ailleurs ». On doit, entre autres, à Lois Lowry, outre "Le Passeur" et "Compte les étoiles", la série des Anastasia, traduite par Agnès Desarthe. Ses livres sont traduits en huit langues et certains d'entre eux ont donné lieu à des films.

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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Mireille CHastagner sur 4 juillet 2002
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Voici un très beau récit situé pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, au Danemark . C'est une histoire d'amitié , un documentaire très riche pour les jeunes lecteurs, et un récit initiatique . La jeune héroïne va grandir avec les épreuves , ouvrir les yeux sur le monde , et découvrir qu'il peut être laid . Mais elle va aussi découvrir qu'elle est capable de puiser en elle des forces et une énergie qu'elle ignorait . Encore une fois , Lois Lowry fait naître l'espoir par l'intermédiaire de ses jeunes héros . Les commentaires de postface qui permettent de faire la part de fiction et de réalité dans le récit sont eux aussi intéressants et enrichissants. A faire découvrir absolument aux jeunes lecteurs ( et aux moins jeunes...)
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Par Wilbur-Charlotte sur 2 décembre 2014
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
c'est bien écrit. C'est une belle histoire qui m'aurait sûrement marquée si je l'avais lue petite. Aujourd'hui elle me fait du bien, comme toutes les histoires de résistance au nazisme, frères et sœur du mouvement "weisse Rose"
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1.523 commentaires
224 internautes sur 235 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Must-Read Regardless of Your Age 9 janvier 2003
Par A. Wolverton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
First I should say that I work in a bookstore. Since I hadn't read a young adult book in nearly 30 years, I decided to read a few to learn what to recommend to customers. The first one I picked up was `Number the Stars.' It blew me away.
Lowry has written an incredibly moving account of the Jews in World War II Denmark. Annemarie Johansen worries what might happen to her Jewish friend Ellen Rosen as the Nazis capture and "relocate" all Jews. During this time, Annemarie learns about the power of evil, the strength of family, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship. Lowry does a masterful job of showing how Annemarie grows up before our very eyes in the way she interacts with her little sister Kirsti, her friend Ellen, and the ever present Nazi officers. Annemarie learns several lessons throughout the book that she'll never forget. We won't forget them either.
This is an incredibly moving book. There are very few books that absolutely everyone should read. This is one of them.
137 pages
89 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a must read book 30 mars 2000
Par Julia McCaffree - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This story is set in Denmark in 1943, during World War II. During that time Denmark was under Nazi occupation. The story tells about the life of two very close friends, Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen, and their families. Living in Denmark during that time was very difficult. Nazi soldiers were on every street corner. There were food shortages and they were required to darken their windows every evening. One day, the Jewish families received word that the Germans were going to relocate all the Jews in Denmark. Since the Rosens were Jewish, Mr. and Mrs. Rosen were takin into hinding. Ellen went to live with the Johansens and pretended to be a part of the Johansen family. A few days later, Mrs. Johansen took her two daughters and Ellen to visit Uncle Henrik. The rest of the story is about the tremendous courage of Annemarie, Mrs. Johansen, Uncle Henrik, and Peter Neilsen and the trouble they endured to help their friends. I really enjoyed this book. It was very moving, suspenseful, and sad. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. I highly recommend reading this book.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lives in the Balance 11 décembre 2002
Par "mrsfaganselves" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This book provides a wonderful opportunity for both kids and parents to read a good story together and study history from a children's perspective.
I always enjoyed reading historical novels, even as a kid, and my daughter, who isn't real crazy about reading, is beginning to change her mind because this story speaks to her. That it takes place in a country she never heard of before isn't relevant.
This is no fairy tale-it's the story of two Danish families, friends before the war, one Jewish and one Christian, who fight the effects of the German invasion of their country and the subsequent attempt to eliminate the Jewish population.
Through the pages of this book, we are given the story of the Rosens and the Johansens, who, on the eve of the Jewish New Year in 1943, wisely act to avert tragedy. The Rosens are blessed by the knowledge that the Nazis are beginning to move in and not paralyzed by fear into inaction. The Johansens are blessed by the knowledge that, as Danes, they could do nothing less but protect their friends and fellow Danes.
There are some scary moments, certainly, but not so frightening that children should avoid this book. Some books can be read without parents nearby; this one I recommend be read either by or with parents because some explanation of history is helpful.
One of the aspects of this book that I particularly liked was how it helps children to think and spot upcoming events.
At one point, for example, there's a reference to the Star of David necklace worn by one of the children. As the German soldiers barge into the Johansen home where the Jewish girl is hiding in plain sight, my daughter exclaimed that someone should hide the necklace before the soldiers find it. That's exactly what happens-the girls remove the necklace and the Germans are, temporarily, fooled into leaving them alone.
Luckily, the Johansens know that they've been granted a only a temporary reprieve, and so the rest of the story tells of Ellen Rosen's escape, along with most of the rest of Denmark's Jews, to Sweden and safety.
There are just enough ordinary details--the annoying younger sister, life in the shadow of a past tragedy--to leaven the story about the Nazis.
While the characters are fictional, the story, of course, is not, and so it is a great way for children to feel, rather than just hear, about the lives of people who fall victim to brutality and what individuals can do to combat evil.
I can't think of a better lesson for children to learn. Or grownups.
118 internautes sur 143 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An undeniable classic 6 janvier 2004
Par E. R. Bird - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Though I was a child when this book was first published, somehow I managed to avoid reading any Lois Lowry until 2003 (much to the shock of my friends). It was worth the wait. This story departs from the usual World War Two fiction genre by placing the story in a unique setting with a different perspective. Everything occurs in Denmark, and we see the story unfold through the eyes of young Annemarie Johansen. Though she is not directly threatened by the actions of the Nazis that have invaded her peaceful country, her best friend Ellen Rosen is. Annemarie must use her head to save her friend from the concentration camps while endangering herself. I was impressed with the fact that the threat presented by the Germans in this book was made real without relying on gory details. In this way, Lowry has created a book about the Holocaust that is appropriate for juvenile readers. Be warned: There is no perfectly happy ending at the end of this story (the reader is not absolutely certain that the Rosenbergs have escaped and are coming back) but it should satisfy most children. Well worth a read.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This is an important book for every child to read. 25 novembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I am studying to be an elementary teacher, and I read this book for a children's literature class. This book was very well written because it vividly shares the reality of life during the Holocaust while protecting young children from many of the details that might be too frightening for them. This book is unique because it gives a child's perspective of the Holocaust, detailing how living circumstances changed and how friends were taken away. I think that every child should read this book because children need to understand that the Holocaust was real and was not just some event in history. We should never forget the tragedy it was.
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