An Education in WWII

August 18, 2012 at 3:36 am (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Title: Number the Stars

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Young Adult

I have been a long-time fan of Lois Lowry from my wonderful experience with The Giver in the sixth grade.  At that time I was completely in love with all things dystopian society.  Ironically, when I wasn’t reading dystopian society literature (Invitation to the Game will always hold a special place in my heart), I was devouring all things holocaust.  An all-time favorite World War II book being Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. So how did I miss out on Number the Stars, a holocaust novel written by my favorite dystopian society young adult novelist? I don’t know.  But if you also suffer from this mishap – please do yourself a favor and remedy the situation, no matter how old you are.

What I love most about reading this as an adult is that the book is set in Denmark, and King Christian X plays a role in the landscaping of the novel.  I missed out on learning any details about King Christian X during my World War II studies in school, so I pretty much knew next to nothing about him prior to this novel.  Not that there is a lot to learn about him in the pages of Number the Stars, but definitely enough to make me want to go pick up a biography on him the first chance I get.  The little tidbit in the novel about how he rode the streets of Denmark on his trusty horse, Jubilee, every morning and greeted his subjects is so endearing and immediately peaks my interest.  The story Lowry includes about the little boy and the Nazi soldier… ‘Where are his bodyguards?’ asked the Nazi.  ‘All of Denmark are his bodyguards,’ the boy responded.   Brilliant deviance and loyalty! Did this really happen or is this a bit of fiction Lowry put into her tale? Either way, I like it! Still, I mean to find out the answer!

I’ve decided this wonderful piece of literature will not be lost on the kiddo.  The beauty of homeschooling is having the ability to choose the absolute must-reads for her education.  The beauty of a classical education is being able to have age appropriate reading material for everything that is meant to be learned.  No missing out on any particular piece of literature because it hits the wrong age group when you’re studying any particular topic.  Number the Stars has been added to the list; and yes, there really is a list.  (It’s never too soon to start writing curriculum!)  The other beauty of homeschooling is that as a parent your education is never quite done either.  There will always be something to read – something to study – to make sure I don’t miss a beat while schooling the kiddo.

For more about the occupation of Denmark and the nation’s amazing effort (and success!) in saving their Jewish population during the war, visit this site: http://www.auschwitz.dk/Denmark.htm

A Book I mean to check out:

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